Knudsen Vineyards

Owner(s) Knudsen Family
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Knudsen Vineyards

The children (Page Knudsen Cowles and two of her three brothers) of Cal Knudsen are carrying on his tradition with the creation of Knudsen Vineyards in 2013, focusing on Pinot Noir from grapes their father planted. Pioneering winegrower Cal Knudsen first planted Knudsen Vineyards in the early 1970s, making this one of Oregon's landmark vineyards. The vineyard is located just north of Stoller Vineyard in the Dundee Hills and is a mix of old vine blocks planted in the 1970s and 1980s, and new high-density blocks planted with Dijon clones in the 1990s. The vineyard also has smaller plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

Knudsen partnered with Dick Erath to create Knudsen-Erath where Knudsen grew the grapes and Erath made the wine. Their partnership lasted until 1987 and they remained lifelong friends. At that time, Argyle Winery was beginning and Knudsen supplied the grapes for the new winery. In 1990, he sold his holdings in Earth Winery, invested them in Argyle and became its chairman, a post he held until retiring in 2007.

The first wine, all of 100 cases, was an estate Pinot Noir from the 2012 vintage. It was made by Rollin Soles of ROCO (and previously the winemaker at Argyle) and current winemaker Nate Klosterman. The wine is sold through a mailing list and select retailers.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Knudsen Vineyards Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 100 cases, pH 3.42, TA 0.58, $55. Harvest Brix 23.7º. Wädenswil 2A and Dijon 777 clones planted in Jory soil in 2000-2004. Aged 16 months in 10% new French oak. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Beautifully perfumed with scents of cherry, sous-bois, spice and sandalwood. Elegant, caressing and comfortable in style, with good depth of cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruit flavors augmented with a riff of savory earthiness. Easy to like, with fine tannins and a satisfying fullness on the finish. The cherry fruit sticks to the finish like glue. Don’t be dissuaded by the delicate color of this wine, as it has a pleasing melange of broad flavors. This bottling is reminiscent of The Eyrie Dundee Hills Pinot Noirs in style and character. Score: 92. Reviewed October 21, 2014 ARTICLE »