Lumos Wine Company: Honest Temperance Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir
Temperance Hill Vineyard, one of Willamette Valley’s most prestigious vineyards, has an intriguing origin
that was revealed to me recently through researching the Linfield College Oregon Wine History Archives and
communicating with Temperance Hill Vineyard manager Dai Crisp.
Vic Lindquist is a somewhat unpublicized yet important figure in the planting of many early Willamette Valley
vineyards. He performed extensive research on ideal regions to plant Burgundian varieties while working for
Andrߐ Tchelistcheff at Beaulieu in the Napa Valley in the early 1970s. He became convinced that the Willamette
Valley of Oregon was THE place and visited the region multiple times over an 18 month period. He was
convinced of the value of the Van Duzer Corridor on wine grape growing. This anomalous opening in the Coast
Range allows oceanic winds to funnel into the Valley, creating a cooling effect that occurs in the early
afternoon. This wind dries out the vine canopy and decreases fungal pressure. To obtain wind protection, the
grape skins thicken leading to increased color-charged anthocyanin and tannin in the grapes.
Lindquist’s first planting was in what is now the Eola- Amity AVA 1976 at what became Bethel Heights. He
would go on to recognize other optimal sites for winegrowing and developed sixteen properties spanning 740
acres in the Willamette Valley, including Temperance Hill Vineyard. Planted initially in the years 1981-1983, Vic
named the vineyard after a horse that won the Kentucky Derby in 1981. The story goes that a family from Hong
Kong and Malaysia including Dr Edward Koo, his son and his spouse Lin Chen, were shown the property during a driving rainstorm. The father rolled down the windows of his car a little bit and asked Vic, “Is this a good
property?” Vic replied, “Yes,” and the deal was consummated on the spot. The Koo family remain the owners of
the vineyard to this day.
Located 15 miles north of West Salem in the Eola Hills the site is believed to be the remnants of an ancient
volcano so the soils are volcanic Jory, Nekia and Rittner. The topography of the vineyard features different
slopes on varying exposures at 660 to 880 feet elevation overlooking the Van Duzer Corridor.
Temperance Hill Vineyard was originally planted to about 100 acres of primarily Pinot Noir with small amounts
of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer. Due to trunk disease and phylloxera, the acreage is now down
to about 90 acres after extensive replanting. Currently, there is no Gewürztraminer, 1 acre of Aligote, 7+ acres
of Dijon clone Chardonnay and 2 acres of Pinot Gris, with the remainder Pinot Noir including Pommard,
Wߐdenswil, and Dijon 113, 114, 115, 667, 777 and 943 clones. A block of Swan clone was added in the 2000s.
There are still about 20 acres of the original plantings of own-rooted Pinot Noir with roughly 40% or less still in
production. The vines are in the Front Block, Flats Block, and West Field Block. The West Field Block is
Wadenswill while the other blocks are Pommard. All vines have phylloxera and newly grafted vines have been
interplanted to transition them. The original plantings are on a 12’ x 8’ high wire hanging trellis with grafted
vines added at 4’ intervals between them. The oldest Pinot Noir plantings are coveted by long-term contract holders.
1990s plantings, mostly grafted, are on a 10’ x 5’ spacing with upright vertical trellis. Additional replanting
began in 2000 by Dai Crisp and these grafted vines are all on an 8’ row spacing with 3’6” and 4” in-row
spacing. with 1550 vines per acre on a single-arm Guyot upright vertical trellis.
Temperance Hill Vineyard currently has 28 clients including Antica Terra, Bergstrom, Broadley, Brooks,
Caballus, Division Winemaking Co., Eisold Smith Wines, Elizabeth Chambers, Elk Cove Vineyards, Evesham
Wood, Goodfellow, J.K. Carriere, Maloof Wines, Nicolas Jay, King Estate, Lange, Lavinea, LUMOS, Portland
Wine Co., Raptor Ridge, Ratio Wines, Sparkman Cellars, St. Innocent, Union Wine Co., Vincent Wine Co., and
The Temperance Hill Vineyard manager, Dai Crisp, has been farming vineyards organically for 35 years and
has managed the Temperance Hill Vineyard since 1999. Temperance Hill Vineyard is certified both Salmon
Safe and USDA/Oregon Organic, and is dry-farmed.
Dai Crisp is also the owner of the LUMOS Wine Company (along with his spouse PK McCoy) that offers
multiple bottlings of Temperance Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir each vintage. Founded in 2000, all the LUMOS Pinot
Noirs come from the plantings that Dai put in the ground over the prior 22 years and are from vines on grafted
rootstocks. I have been a big fan of these wines that were crafted by Dai initially and winemaker Julia Cattrall
since 2007. The 2018 LUMOS Pinot Noir bottlings:
Temperance Hill Pinot Noir - Includes the best barrels of different lots with no formula but often
includes most if not all the clones in the vineyard.
Pumphouse Pinot Noir - 113, 114, 115 clone series.
North - Pommard (Dai’s section)
The G (Guam Block): clone 777 planted on the southwest corner of the vineyard nearly adjacent to
Cristom Vineyards. Called “The G” because like Guam, it is all on its own out there. The block
is 1.16 acres planted at 703 feet elevation.
Upper Bench: Formerly “The Babies” bottling. Planted by Dai starting in 2000. Primarily Pommard.
Double Barrel: Two special barrels from this vintage.
Dai explained the winemaking approach. “We use different fermentation techniques with each of the blocks.
Several fermenters are “layer cakes,” that is, de-stemmed fruit for 1/3 of the fill, 1/3 whole cluster core, and
then 1/3 de-stemmed fruit on top. We have moved to pump-overs in the front end of fermentation and perform
punch-downs later. We want the whole clusters to remain intact as long as possible. This helps prolong
fermentation and avoids shredding the skins. I believe less extraction leads to more effusive aromatics and
more focus. We do some 100% whole cluster.” All wines are crafted from organic grapes.
LUMOS Pinot Noir is sold through the winery’s website at www.lumoswine.com. The LUMOS tasting room is
located on the Crisp family farm in Wren, Oregon 16 miles west of Corvallis. A cabin left standing on the
property from the H bar H Dude Ranch that occupied the property in the 1940s was converted into a tasting
room. The tasting room will be re-opened February 12-13 weekend after a renovation.
The wines are vinified in McMinnville. Wine prices are reasonable considering the pedigree of this vineyard.
2018 LUMOS Temperance Hill Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 226
cases, $45. Released October 2020.
Do not think of this wine as an entry-level bottling as it is carefully
composed through multiple tastings to achieve a superior representation of the vineyard. Moderately dark
garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of black cherry, sous bois, truffle, cardamom spice and lavender.
Plush in the mouth in a mid-weight plus style with harmonious flavors of black cherry, blueberry and
pomegranate. Impressive harmony, with lithe tannins and welcome acidity. The wine finishes clean and long.
2018 LUMOS North Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 92 cases, $55.
Released October 2020.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of red and purple berry
mash, spice cabinet, and tilled earth. Luxurious on the palate in a mid-weight plus style, offering vibrant flavors
of blackberry, boysenberry and purple grape that find every crevice and taste bud in the mouth. The wine
creates a bold yet discreet impression with the fruit pulled into line with fine acidity and tame tannins.
2018 LUMOS The G Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 104 cases, $55. Released October
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Nicely
perfumed with aromas of dark cherry, wine cellar and potpourri.
An intense attack of dark cherry fruit flavor perks up the taste
buds. Supportive tannins and quenching acidity add to the
pleasure.This wine stands out for its generous and extremely
persistent finish that lingers longer than any of the Pinot Noirs in
this vintage. Truly exceptional when tasted the following day
from a previously opened bottle.
2018 LUMOS Pumphouse Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 75 cases,
$55. Released October 2020.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose opens slowly to reveal soaring
aromas of black cherry, mocha-java, and exotic Indian spices. Instantly appealing in a middleweight style,
featuring a luscious core of dark cherry and raspberry fruit pumped up with generous spice. The cherry-fueled
finish is extremely long. Even better when sampled the following day from a previously opened bottle.
2018 LUMOS Upper Bench Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 73 cases,
$55. Released October 2020.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. A complex nose offers aromas of
blackberry, cassis, floral bouquet and balsam. Very silky in the mouth with a discreet concentration of dark red
cherry and red current fruits that stand out for their juiciness. There is a shadow of supportive oak. Very tame
tannins make for easy enjoyment now.
2018 LUMOS Double Barrel Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 49 cases,
$75. Released October 2020.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Demure but pleasant aromas of black
cherry, barrel room, incense and tobacco. Red and black cherry flavors are expansive on the mid-palate and
persist with a vengeance on the generous and lengthy finish. Somewhat elegant, with dusty tannins and
charming oak shadow. This wine was still withholding some of its charms when tasted the following day from a
previously opened bottle and needs decanting or more time in the cellar to reach its full potential.
Other recent vintage Temperance Hill Vineyard Pinot Noirs I have reviewed are included here. I find that
Temperance Hill Pinot Noir is generally dark in color, darkly fruited with plenty of up-front fruit, earth/iron
infused, with a good bit of tannic sinew.
2019 Goodfellow Pumphouse Block Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
12.7% alc., 100 cases,
$52. Sourced from fruit planted in 1994.
Moderately light garnet
color in the glass. A complex woodsy perfume with aromas of
tilled earth, Herbs de Provence, cherry, and rose petal. Striking
purity of well-spiced black cherry fruit in a mid-weight style with
exquisite balance. Flavors of spice and peppercorns add
interest. Giving initially but improves in the glass over time. A
complete wine with an exceptionally long and gratifying finish.
2018 Broadley Vineyards Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola- Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 72 cases, $55. Released
November 2019. Pommard clone. 70% whole cluster, wild yeast
fermentation. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 30% new.
Dark garnet color in the glass. Inviting aromas of blackberry,
cherry cola, burnt tobacco and a hint of vanilla. Beautifully
crafted in a mid-weight style with nicely-ripened and exuberant
flavors of blackberry and black raspberry. The fruit in this wine
really sings. Well-mannered tannins provide good structure and
uplifting acidity brings juiciness. The finish is remarkably long
and satisfying. Flat-out terrific when tasted the following day
from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with even better
integration of tannins. A special wine that will benefit from some
cellaring. Reviewed January 17, 2021.
2018 Bergström Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., $70.
garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dark cherry, winter Wassail spices, dark red rose
petal and a touch of oak. A middleweight style with welcome swagger, offering bold flavors of well-spiced
boysenberry and blueberry-pomegranate. Very sleek and polished, with excellent weight and presence. The
modest tannins are tucked in, a shadow of oak is supportive, and the finish is quite long.
2018 Lavinea Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., $75. A high elevation site above Bethel
Heights Vineyard exposed to the Van Duzer Corridor influence.
Grapes for this wine were planted in 2001 by Dai Crisp and
farmed organically. Harvest Brix 23º. Spontaneous fermentation
without inoculations. Aged in mixed oak cooperage, 35% new.
Dark garnet color in the glass. A complex nose offers aromas of
Dark garnet color in the glass. A complex nose offers aromas of
purple berries, wine cave, cardamom spice and earth. Rich yet
gently powerful in a mid-weight plus style, offering flavors of
darkest cherry, boysenberry, earth, iron and a touch of
complimentary oak. Silken in texture with modest tannic sinew,
and fruit-dominated, expansive length. This wine accurately
reflects the Temperance Hill ethos.
2017 Evesham Wood Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 74 cases, $36.
Pommard clone planted on its own roots in 1982. Aged 18 months in neutral French oak barrels.
light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of purple and black berries arrive slowly over time in the glass. Intensely
fruity in a mid-weight style with layers of black cherry and blackberry fruit goodness. Several hours were
needed for the wine to open up and achieve cohesiveness. The mouthfeel is seductively satiny and the sturdy
tannic frame matches well to the fruit load. A distinctive wine of uncommon pedigree that reflects its old vine
heritage. Reviewed March 8, 2020.
2017 Love & Squalor Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.3% alc., 50 cases, $54. Released fall
2021. Clones are 113, 114, 667 and Pommard.
garnet color in the glass. Sensational nose that elevates over
time in the glass to offer soaring aromas of dark cherry,
potpourri, tilled earth and spice. Light to mid-weight in style and
rather elegant in character, with a delicious array of dark red
and purple fruits infused with bright acidity and framed by
delicate tannins. The finish is long like a three hour movie you
don’t want to end.. This is an unusual interpretation of this
vineyard that known is more for its rich, dark fruit, intense color
and bold tannins.
2016 Love & Squalor Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 50 cases, $54.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Fragrant aromas of cherry, bramble, rose and oak spice. Plush on the
palate, with resonant dark cherry and raspberry fruit flavors infused with racy energy and backed by tame
tannins. Excellent harmony with a lengthy finish. Atypical for this vineyard in that the fruits trend more to redder
types, there is less underlying earthiness and the overall impression is finesse rather than power.
2016 St. Innocent Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 920 cases, $45.
100% de-stemmed, fermented in stainless steel and French oak fermentors with no SO2 addition. Aged 16
months in French oak barrels, 29% new. Bottled without fining.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass.
Aromas of black cherry, bramble, dried herbs and roasted coffee beans. The blackberry and boysenberry fruit
core is adorned with flavors of grilled beef, spice and smoky oak. The finish is exceptionally persistent. The
oak shadow detracts a bit.