Willamette Valley Vineyards
The Estate Vineyard, located south of Salem, is planted on an old west-to-southwest facing volcanic flow. The pioneering Jory family who first farmed the hill-site found the ancient volcanic, iron-rich soil to be ideal for dark, thin-skinned plums, which they dried into prunes. Wine grapes were first planted in 1983 by Jim Bernau, Founder and CEO of Willamette Valley Vineyards.
The vineyard site rises from 500-750 feet in elevation with seven to twelve degree slopes tilted toward the sun. As a result, the vines get excellent air drainage and are above the frost line. At this elevation and slope, the temperature is approximately 10 degrees warmer than the valley floor during the day.
The soil type is typically a clay loam, which is permeable to roots, retentive of moisture and runs five to seven feet deep. Because this soil is so old, estimated to be 10 to 14 million years old, rain water has percolated through this now acidic soil, breaking down the basalt, allowing the roots to tap down. The Nekia and Jory soils are well drained to a depth of two and a half to six feet.
The Estate Vineyard has a total of 60 acres of vines planted, with the first Dijon clones grafted in 1993. It is primarily planted with Pinot Noir Dijon clones 667, 777, Pommard and Wadenswil. Additionally, a portion is planted in Pinot Gris and Dijon Clone Chardonnay 76 and 96.
Wines made from this vineyard exude a sense of place and display complexity, elegance and balance.
Our approach is to grow, by hand, the highest quality fruit using careful canopy management and yield balance, to achieve wines that are truly expressive of the varietal and the place where they are grown. We ferment and barrel each vineyard lot separately and display the best of these in our single vineyard designate bottlings. Our stylistic emphasis is on pure varietal fruit characters, with attention to depth, richness of mouthfeel and balance. The wines are truly a collaborative effort of the entire vineyard and winemaking staff.