Cardwell Hill Cellars

Owner(s) Dan Chapel, Nancy Chapel
Web site www.cardwellhillcellars.com
 
Link to this site
Cardwell Hill Cellars

Dan and Nancy Chapel own a vineyard and winery in Philomath, Benton County, in the Willamette Valley just west of the town of Corvallis. Dan was a very successful engineer at Fluor Corportion and found winegrowing to be a challenging outlet for his creative juices after he retired. He purchased an overgrown vineyard in a picturesque location in Southern Oregon and transformed the property into a magnificent wine estate featuring a stately home with barrel storage underneath.

There are 38 acres of estate vineyards, primarily Pinot Noir with a few acres of Pinot Gris. The original existing Monet Vineyard was planted in 1984 to the Wädenswil clone. To that vineyard, Dan added Pommard, 115 and 777 clones. In 2003, Dan purchased additional acreage, christened the Degas Vineyard, and planted it to Wädenswil and 115 clones of Pinot Noir and to Pinot Gris. A total of 50,000 vines have been added to the estate in the last 4 years. Established vines are dry farmed as the subterranean moisture provides just the right amount of water during the warm summer months. Vineyard management is under the direction of consultant Norbert Feibig, who has been farming grapes in Oregon for over 25 years and heads the viticulture program at Van Duzer.

The Chapels were fortunate to enlist the winemaking expertise of Jim Kakacek, who crafted well-regarded Pinot Noir at Van Duzer Vineyards, and is now a consultant with Dan doing much of the winemaking work.

Cardwell Hill Cellars tasting room is open from early May through Thanksgiving weekend Tuesday through Sunday, from 12-6. The Chapels split their time between Southern California and Oregon, so call ahead to see if they are at the winery (541-929-WINE). Tasting and tours are available year-round by appointment. There are picnic tables on the property with spectacular views of Mary’s Peak and the coastal range of mountains. The wines are sold on the website and through retail channels. The prices are quite sensible. The 2005 Cardwell Hill Cellars Pinot Noir was chosen to be poured at the 2008 IPNC.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Cardwell Hill Cellars Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $40. Estate grown, produced and bottled. The estate vineyard is located in Philomath in the western Willamette Valley. Clones are Wädenswil, Pommard, 115 and 777. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A well-mannered wine with aromas of black cherry, spice and raisin leading to a juicy core of black cherry and red raspberry fruits complimented by a deft touch of oak. Nicely balanced tannins and easily accessible. The most notable feature is the intensely fruity finish that lasts and lasts. Score: 89. Reviewed July 6, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Bottled Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $24. Wädenswil (1985), Pommard, and Dijon 115, 777. Aged 10 months in French oak. · Light reddishpurple color in the glass. Very shy aromas of redder fruits and underbrush. Tasty red cherry and strawberry fruits, lifted by good acidity and framed by supple tannins. Very flavorful, with the aromatics lagging behind at this early stage. Good. Reviewed September 12, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Bottled Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $22. Clones are Wädenswil, Pommard, Dijon 115 and 777. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved aromas of cherries with musty oak, becoming livelier the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Flavors of red cherries and berries sprinkled with herbs, offering a slight tartness on the frisky finish. Good. Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Cardwell Hill Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $24. Wädenswil, Pommard, Dijon 115 and 777 clones from an estate vineyard in Philomath, Oregon. · The nose blossoms with time in the glass offering enticing aromas of deep, dark fruits, cut flowers, spice, oak and a hint of spearmint. Restrained but charming in the mouth with discreetly concentrated dark red cherries and berries and a slight note of grapefruit peel on the bright finish. This wine displays welcoming finesse in a well-crafted style offering great value. Very good. Reviewed August 7, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Bottled Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $25. Made from original plantings of Wädenswil (1985) and more recently planted Pommard, 115 and 777. The estate vineyard is dry farmed and lovingly nurtured by Dan and Nancy Chapel. · Dark-fruited, brambly, herbal nose with hints of Moroccan spice and roasted nuts. Dark and brooding, with rich, showy and mouth filling dark red cherries and raspberries leading to a dry finish. Impressive extraction and ripeness for the 2007 vintage. Still has some tannins to shed and will benefit from another 6 months in bottle. A great value. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Barrel Sample

A blend of the best 21 barrels, 40% new oak. · Less fruit driven than the Estate with more of everything - structure, earthiness, tea flavors and tannins. Great potential here, but not even close to maturity. Reviewed August 13, 2007 ARTICLE »

2006 Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

The aromatics are dominated by sweet and candied cherry fruit. There is a hint of alcohol. Very drinkable now, but showing fruit and not much else at this stage. Reviewed August 13, 2007 ARTICLE »

2006 Cardwell Hill Cellars Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 500+ cases, $26. From plantings of Dijon, Pommard and Wädenswil clones in Philomath, Oregon. The best 21 barrels in the cellar. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Very ripe dark fruits are featured with hints of raisin and port, stopping short of prune. Deft touch of cardamon and clove spice. Very smooth mouthfeel. Well-crafted but the fruit is a little riper than I prefer. Reviewed March 26, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Cardwell Hill Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé

12.5% alc., 92 cases, $15. Fermented in stainless steel after being pressed off the must. · The light red color is clear and attractive. Made in an off-dry style, the wine has appealing strawberry and watermelon flavors that are very brisk and clean. Reviewed April 6, 2006

2005 Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 2475 cases, $20. · A more expressive nose with more blue-dark fruits evident. A nice fullness in the mouth with a velveteen texture and a lengthy finish. Reviewed August 13, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot

13.2% alc., 375 cases, $28. A selection of the 15 best barrels in the cellar. · Very dark purple in color. A nicely spiced cherry nose with cola, cinnamon, and toast. Over time, spiced apple notes are evident. Full-bodied, but yet showing restraint and a very suave texture. Blue and black fruits dominate with a hint of oak. The tannins are evident but finegrained. This was recently bottled and needs a little time for the flavors to come together completely. Reviewed August 13, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $20. · A shy nose with soft and demure cherry and berry flavors and a tiny hint of spice. Very light in body. Reviewed August 13, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Cardwell Hill Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

972 cases, $20. Contains both old and new estate plantings. The grapes were harvested at a lower Brix than in 2003 and produced a more elegant wine. · The aromatics feature dark fruits and violets. Both red and black fruits are nicely composed on the palate. The texture is soft and silky with powdery tannins. The finish is striking with a peacock tail that lingers until the next sip. A Pinot love letter. Reviewed April 6, 2006

2004 Cardwell Hill Cellars Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $28. The first reserve bottling from this relative new producer in Philomath, Oregon, this Pinot Noir is a blend of the six best barrels in the cellar. · This is an admirable effort in the style of Pinot I prefer. It is quite light, but with plenty of punch from red fruits and spice. The wine is enhanced by exotic wood highlights in the nose and on the finish. The silky mouth feel is very sexy. Really good juice for the money. Reviewed February 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2003 Cardwell Hill Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 565 cases, $20. Contains all four clones from the estate vineyard. · From a warm vintage, this wine is full bodied and rich with dark fruits, offering added notes of leather and oak. The wine finishes with a tangy acidic edge. Reviewed April 6, 2006