Vineyards Established 1976-1979
Owners: Peter and Carol Adas were native Oregonians who planted a vineyard in 1976-1977. Peter was a
high school classmate of David Adelsheim and looked to him for advice.
Location: Chehalem Mountains AVA.
Planting: The original plantings of 13 acres were sourced from Erath and consisted of 75% own-rooted
Pommard and 25% own-rooted UCD 108 Chardonnay. Peter completed the initial cultivation layout of the
vineyard and Carol, Bill, and Teri Doan along with other hired help all worked to plant the vineyard. The upper
half was completed in 1976 and the lower half in 1977. There has since been supplemental planting of Dijon
777 clone. The owners still have a 2-acre block of original Pinot Noir vines which is used for the Reserve Pinot
Pinot Noir scion: Own-rooted Pommard (from Dick Earth).
Soil: Primarily Jory clay loam.
Vines: The vineyard aspect is south and southeast-facing with 9' x 5' spacing of the original vines. VSP trellis.
Winery clients: None, a monopole.
Old vines bottling: Adams Reserve Pinot Noir is 100% old vine Pommard.
Of interest: The first 1981 vintage was produced at the Adelsheim basement winery. The owners opened their
own winery for the 1985 vintage and Carol Adams took over the winemaking duties. During the 1980s and
1990s the wine brand was Adams Vineyard Winery. The business was sold to Rex Hill in 1994 but the Adams
family retained ownership of Adams Vineyard and leased the vineyard to Rex Hill. In 2008, the Adams family
started the Trout Lily Ranch brand and became a virtual winery, contracting production at the 12th & Maple
facility in Dundee. The winermaker since 2008 has been Kelly Kidneigh. Production has more recently been
moved to Andante Vineyard in Dallas, OR. The Adams name is retained for the Reserve Pinot Noir
program.The Adams’ daughter Frances (Fanny) Adams and her husband Jacob Hale are transitioning the
company to a carry-on business.
2018 Adams Reserve Adams Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
13.7% alc. (?14.3%), pH 3.59, TA 0.52, $55.
Produced and bottled by Trout Lily Ranch, Dallas, OR. 5-day
cold soak, indigenous yeast fermentation, and aged 18 months
in French oak barrels, 40% new. Bottled unfiltered.
dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, Italian
spices, earthy flora and a floral lift. A flood of black cherry, black
plum and blackberry fruits greet the palate. This mid-weight plus
wine is both long in the mouth and finish. The fine-grain tannins
are slightly daunting but should ameliorate over time. A little
rustic in character and could benefit from more acidic verve, but
otherwise a solid wine.
Kevin and Beth in DION Vineyard
Owners: Kevin Johnson and Beth Klinger are husband and wife owners.
Location: Northern end of the Chehalem Mountains AVA (“in the hook”) and the Laurelwood District AVA.
Planting: Records are sketchy. 5 acres of Pinot Noir and an Upright Pinot were planted initially on an existing
wheat field.The first 12 rows are Upright Pinot and set super heavy so they have gone into the winery’s
sparkling or rosé. Rows 13-18 are own-rooted Pommard. Replacement vines have been added since 1999.
Additional plantings of Pommard, 115, 114, 113, 667 and 777 of varying ages and rootstocks bring the total
current planted Pinot Noir acreage to 27.1. The vineyard’s total 60 planted acres include Chardonnay and Pinot
Pinot Noir scions: Own-rooted Pommard and Upright Pinot.
Soil: Laurewood series.
Vines: South-facing on a slope at 300’-350’ elevation. Predominantly 9’ x 6’ spacing with some West Block
planted to 7’ x 5’. VSP trellising.
Farming: LIVE certified for over 12 years and dry-farmed.
Winery clients: Ponzi, Oak Knoll, and Erath have sourced from younger vines.
Old vines bottling: DION Vineyard Old Vines Special Release Pinot Noir is offered annually. These wines
age extremely well.
Of interest: Three generations have farmed DION Vineyard. A small amount of wine has been produced on
site since 2007 under the DION Vineyard label with Kevin Dion Johnson handling the winemaking duties. This
is one of the most outstanding yet unpublicized producers of Pinot Noir in all of Oregon!
2010 DION Old Vines Limited Release Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., $35. Aged 13 months
in French oak barrels, 50% new.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Surprisingly fresh and alive black
cherry, potpourri and rose petal aromas. Earth-toned flavors of black cherry, spice, iron and smoky oak. Good
bones for a 11-year-old wine but fruit is beginning to fade as oak surfaces. Still interesting but has seen better
2011 DION Old Vines Limited Release Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 48 cases, $40.
garnet color in the glass. Pleasing scents of dark cherry, purple berry and vanilla cream. Lighter in weight but
brimming with dark red strawberry, raspberry and black cherry fruit flavors framed by gossamer tannins. Silky in
the mouth, with a remarkably long finish. A great aged Pinot Noir from a challenging vintage that has reached
2012 DION Old Vines Limited Release Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
14.5% alc, 50 cases, $45. Aged 13
months in French oak barrels, 50% new.
garnet color in the glass. Nicely scented with aromas of
blackberry, cherry pie spice and savory dried herbs. A dancing
Pinot with glass-filling presence, offering flavors of black
cherry, pomegranate snd blackberry. Ghost tannins and
enough acidity to keep the wine fresh. Discreetly concentrated
and not like a fruit compote as are so many Pinot Noirs from
this warm vintage. Still a few good years left, but why wait?
2014 DION Old Vines Limited Release Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., 92 cases, $65.
Released spring 2021.Harvest Brix 23.7-24.1º. Pommard clone. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 50%
Light garnet color in the glass. This very sexy nose is brimming with the aromas of cherry leather, spice
and red rose petal. An ephemeral wine with vital acidity and refined tannins. Endlessly gentle and polished,
with a mid-weight load of vivid red cherry and berry fruits that satisfy for thirty seconds on the finish.
Remarkably flavorful considering the light weight and color. A very beguiling wine.
2016 DION Old Vines Limited Release Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., 99 cases, $60.
Harvest Brix 25.1º. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose offers a
riper fruit profile including aromas of purple and black berries, and forest path. Unusually rich and ripe vintage
but not over the top. Impressive palate presence of boysenberry and blackberry fruit flavors framed by tannins
that are so fine as to be imperceptible and defining acidity. Very suave and harmonious on the palate with the
alcohol held in check, and a long, powerfully aromatic finish. Still terrific when tasted the following day from a
previously opened bottle.
2018 DION Old Vines Limited Release Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
13.8$ alc., 92 cases, $65. Harvest
Bris 23.7º-24.1º. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 50% new.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass.
Intriguing aromas of darker berry and cherry, sweet pipe smoke, earthy flora and a subtle cloak of oak. Midweight
plus in style with black cherry and black raspberry flavors augmented with a rustic, gamy bent.
Admirable harmony with a perfect fruit and tannin ratio. This wine had me starring at the glass and asking,
“How could so much flavor come from this wine.” The finish, like all great wines, lingered for what seemed like
an eternity. Wow! (Reviewed January 17, 2021)
Owners: Hal Medici was a 30-year-old math teacher at Portland City College where he met Dick Ponzi who
was an engineer at the school. With encouragement from Ponzi, and a desire to live in the country, Hal, along
with his wife Dorothy, bought a 40-acre filbert farm in Newberg in 1965. Hal and Dorothy still own the vineyard.
Location: North of the town of Newberg on Bell Road in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The property is
situated just a few miles east of the J. Christopher Winery.
Planting: There was a tiny 1-acre planting in 1973 with cuttings sourced from Ponzi. The major original
planting of 6 acres of Pinot Noir occurred in 1976 and a later planting followed in 1988. The initial vines were
own-rooted Pommard sourced from Erath. The 1976 planting was performed by Hal and Dorothy and their
family, the Ponzi family and students in is class at Portland City College. A 1980 planting of Chardonnay was
grafted to Dijon 777 in the late 1990s. The current vineyard is 23 acres of Pinot Noir and 2 acres of Riesling.
Pinot Noir scion: Own-rooted Pommard.
Soil: Volcanic Jory.
Vines: South-facing aspect at 550’-850’ elevation.
Farming: The Medicis hired all the vineyard work out while enjoying the country lifestyle. Biodynamic since
2015 and immaculately farmed organically since 2016 by J. Christopher Winery. Since Jay Somers left in 2019
after the contentious sale of his winery, I do not have specifics on farming thereafter.
Winery clients: In the early years, there were many small winery clients including Ponzi. More recently, J.
Christopher (since 2015), Patricia Green Cellars, and Rex Hill were clients. Medici Vineyards Pinot Noir wines
were crafted by Eric Hamacher beginning in 1995 and then by Peter Rosback for 15 years. The Medici
Vineyard label has been discontinued since the 2012 vintage. Rosback launched his own Sineaan label in
1994 at Medici Vineyard along with David O’Reilly who later left and founded Owen Roe Winery.
Old vines bottlings: Patricia Green Cellars Medici Vineyard Pinot Noir has been sourced from the oldest
extant Pommard and 777 vines, 50% of each clone from Medici Vineyard manager Jay Somers during the
years 2015 through 2019. J. Christopher “Old Vines” Medici Vineyard Pinot Noir (last vintage 2019) is
from 100% own-rooted original Pommard vines (Jay Somers crafted J. Christopher “Old Vines” Medici
Vineyard Pinot Noir through the 2019 vintage, but sold the winery that year to Erni Loosen and founded a new
label, J.C. Somers Vintner). Medici Vineyards Estate Reserve Blocks I & II is no longer produced.
Of interest: Hal designed and built two buildings on the property including a winery facility. He believes that his
legacy is that he gave at least fifteen small wineries their start at his vineyard and winery including Sineaan and
Owen Roe. Hal, who is now nearly 90-years-old, likes to tell the following story.”I was in my faculty office at
Portland City College in 1969 when a guy walked in selling books. It was commonplace for the time for
salesmen to call on teachers to encourage them to buy textbooks. The “guy” was David Lett, who told him that
he wanted to start a winery.”
2017 J. Christopher Medici Vineyard Old Vine Cuvée Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $60.
Light garnet color in the glass. Expressive aromas of red cherry, cranberry, and oak vanillin. Light to
mid-weight in style, with a dramatic blast of cherry fruit on entry. Long in the mouth and finish that is alive with
cherry flavor. Very giving, with suave tannins, impeccable balance and a hint of complimentary oak.
2018 Patricia Green Cellars Medici Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., $120. Magnum.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Gregarious aromas
of blackberry, boysenberry and spice upon opening. Mouth
filling richness in a mid-weight plus style sporting joyous, oakkissed
layers of dark fruits including blackberry and cassis.
The wine is caressing the mouth with defining tannins. Several
hours after opening, the wine had evolved into a gorgeous
Pinot in every respect with the endless echo of the scent of
fruit on the finish. This will easily be a 20-year wine in magnum
Woodhall III Vineyards
Owners: Oregon State University (OSU). Eugene, Oregon residents Dr Frank Baynes and his spouse Betty
founded this vineyard. He was a colleague of Dr Jan Jepsen, owner of Alpine vineyards, a 30-acre commercial
vineyard and winery neighboring Woodhall Vineyard on the east side. The Baynes donated the property in
1986 to the OSU Foundation to be used as a research vineyard.
Location: Two miles west of Alpine and approximately 25 miles south of the Oregon State University campus.
Planting: The vineyard was planted originally in 1976 (also reported as 1977) and continued into the late 1980s when 13.5 acres were planted to 22 different varieties including Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir and Napa
Gamay according to the posted history of the vineyard on the OSU Horticulture site. (The original plantings in
1976 have also been reported as about 18 acres of Pinot Noir according to Tabitha Compton of Compton Family Cellars).
New research plantings were added in 1989, 1990, and 1997 combined with vine removal through 2002 so that
the current vineyard has 3.5 acres of of the original own-rooted Pinot Noir vines.
Oregon State University Woodhall Vineyard
Pinot Noir scions: Own-rooted Pommard and Wädenswil.
Soils: Hazelair and Dupree series sedimentary and basic igneous bedrock.
Vines: South-facing vines at 450’-750‘ elevation. Original vine spacing was 9’ x 6’. Cane pruned and a
modified vertical upright canopy.
Farming: Sustainably and dry-farmed.
Winery clients: This vineyard was originally intended to provide high quality wine grapes to amateur
winemakers in northwestern Oregon. Currently, all extra fruit goes to Compton Family Wines.
Old vines bottlings: Compton Alpine Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a blend of two vineyards in
Alpine including Woodhall Vineyard and BoVine Vineyard (planted in 2008 to Pommard and Wädenswil
clones). Spindrift Cellars Woodhall Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir was offered in the 2016 vintage
(Spindrift Cellars is no longer a separate label but has been incorporated into the Compton Family Wines
2016 Spindrift Cellars OSU Woodhall Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.4% alc., $28, screw cap.
dark garnet color in the glass. An earthbound wine with
considerable charm. Wholesome aromas and flavors of dark
red cherry and berry in a mid-weight plus style. Gentle tannins,
a soothing texture and a glorious finish packed with showy ripe
fruit. Reviewed in 2019.
2017 Compton Alpine Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose exudes red
cherry goodness with a side of spice and red rose aromas. Easy going in a
harmonious, mid-weight style, driven by cherry and raspberry fruit flavors
with a shadow of oak and a mossy, forestry undertone reflecting its Alpine
origins. Focused tannins and a raspberry-themed finish of some length
complete the picture. Reviewed November 14, 2021.
1977 & 1979
Bethel Heights Legacy Blocks
Southeast Block Pommard Pinot Noir at Bethel Heights
Owners: The Dudley and Casteel families.
Location: Bethel Heights Road NW in Salem in the shadow of Mount Jefferson in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA.
Planting: There are three old vine plantings of Pinot Noir called the Legacy Blocks: West Block in 1977, 4.5
acres; Flat Block in 1979, 3.3 acres, and Southeast Block also in 1979, 6 acres. In 2020, individual dead vines
that were killed by voles or phylloxera began to be replaced with grafted vines of the same clone as the original
vines. 80% of the original own-rooted Pinot Noir vines are still producing. Dijon clones 114 and 115 on grafted
rootstock (1994 and 1996), 777 grafted onto old Chardonnay rootstock (2000), and 115 and 777 on grafted
rootstock (2002) were added to parts of the vineyard other than the Legacy Blocks. There are currently 49.6
acres planted of which 37 acres are dedicated to Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir scions: Own-rooted Wädenswil 2A and clone 23 (West Block) and Pommard (Flat Block and
Southeast Block). According to Vic, the initial Pinot Noir plantings (presumably West Block) were sourced from
Wente in California.
Soil: Shallow, well-drained Jory/Nekia series.
Vines: South-facing hillside with a mosaic of south-facing benches and slopes at 480’-620’ elevation.
Farming: The entire vineyard has been LIVE certified since 1999, one of the first Oregon wineries to receive
this certification. Also, Salmon-Safe. Three years of documented organic practices were completed in
anticipation of organic certification in 2021. Mimi Casteel, one of Oregon’s leading proponents of regenerative
viticulture, is the vineyard manager.
Winery clients: None, a monopole.
Old vines bottlings: The first estate-grown commercial Pinot Noir release was from the 1984 vintage. Four
block-designated estate wines from vines older than 40 years are produced each year: West Block Pinot Noir,
Flat Block Pinot Noir (first bottled separately in 1991), Southeast Block Pinot Noir, and West Block
Chardonnay. Ben Casteel is the winemaker.
Of Interest: In a 1941 booklet by John E. Smith, the origin of the name Bethel Heights is explained. “One of
the earliest settlers in this area was Rev. Glen O. Burnett who came to Oregon in 1846 and built his house half
a mile or so north of the present location of Bethel School. To the heights eastward, he gave the name ‘Bethel
Hills,’ Bethel being the name of the church in Missouri that he had recently served as pastor.” The property
now known as Bethel Heights Vineyard was originally planted to walnut trees in 1909 and some of these
original trees still flourish around the edges of the Bethel Heights vineyards
The initial vines were planted by visionary Vic Winquist who established multiple Oregon vineyards including
Witness Tree and Seven Springs. He saw the potential for grape growing in areas exposed to the Van Duzer
Corridor. After buying the land that is now Bethel Heights, he knocked down some walnut trees that dated to
1906 and planted 20 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Riesling that Vic dates to 1976.
Bethel Heights was founded a year later with the first estate wines produced in 1984.
2018 Bethel Heights Estate West Block Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.3% alc.,pH 3.36, TA 0.64, 250 cases, $65. Ownrooted
Wädenswil clone. Harvest Brix 23.2º. 100% destemmed,
Aged 9 months in French oak barrels, 55% new.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass.
Lovely scent of black cherry, blackberry, spice, and a prominent
floral lift. Discretely rich and robust in a mid-weight plus style
featuring showy flavors of black cherry and boysenberry.
Refined, with decent acidic verve and energetic tannins. The
finish is exceptionally long and soulful and especially sappy
when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle.
2018 Bethel Heights Estate Flat Block Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.2% alc.,pH 3.60, TA 0.60, 200 cases,
$65. Own-rooted Pommard clone.Harvest Brix 24.0º. 100% de-stemmed, aged 9 months in French oak barrels,
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas of red cherry, ripe strawberry, baking
spices and pastry cream. Delectable array of dark red cherry and blueberry flavors on the palate backed by
notable tannins. Refined and elegant, with a compliment of spicy oak and a juicy finish of good length.
2018 Bethel Heights Estate Southeast Block Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.58,
250 cases, $65. Own-rooted Pommard clone. Harvest Brix 24.0º. 100% de-stemmed, aged 9 months in French
oak barrels, 35% new. Bottled unfined.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The most savory of the three
block wines, with aromas of underbrush, dried herbs, cherry leather, and Hoisin sauce. Mid-weight in style, with
flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and boysenberry framed by muscular tannins. Like many old vine Pinot
Noirs, the finish is very lengthy. This wine definitely needs a few years in the cellar to ameliorate the tannins.
Fuqua Vineyards/Holstein Vineyard/Red Hills Estate Vineyard/
Fuqua Vineyard (1998 planting)
Owners: The original owners were native Oregonians Gary and Saundra Fuqua who bought 35 acres in the
Dundee Hills in 1971. They were among the few native Oregonians to plant a vineyard in the Red Hills of
Dundee. Other owners followed (see “Planting.”)
Location: Just north of Worden Hill Road Rd directly off Red Hills Rd adjacent to Archery Summit’s Red Hills
Estate Vineyard to the south and Holstein Vineyard to the East in the Dundee Hills AVA.
Planting: It’s complicated! From 1977-1978, 3 acres of own-rooted Wädenswil and Upright Pinot from Carl
Wente’s nursery in Livermore, CA, and Riesling from Coury’s nursery were established. By 1986, the vineyard
consisted of 20 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. It was one of the first vineyards in
Oregon afflicted with phylloxera. 10 planted acres were eventually sold to viticulturist Alan Holstein who still
farms this plot known as Holstein Vineyard which has been completely replanted. In 1994, 25 acres were sold
to Archery Summit and that became Red Hills Estate Vineyard. Archery Summit pulled out the original
plantings due to phylloxera infestation and planted vines on virus-resistant rootstocks in the years to follow
through 2016. Gary bought the vineyard adjacent to Fuqua Vineyard from his father, Russell, in 1998. It was a
1975 planting consisting of 4 acres of Pinot Noir (own-rooted Pommard and Dijon 115 and 777), 1.9 acres of
Pinot Blanc, and 1.6 acres of Pinot Gris. This property was sold in 2010 to the Wichmanns who renamed it
Pinot Noir scions: Originally, own-rooted Wädenswil and Upright Pinot.
Soil: Volcanic Jory.
Southern exposure at 360’- 570’ feet elevation for the original vineyard. The microclimate is slightly
warmer than most of the rest of the Dundee Hills AVA.
Farming: Early on, all vineyard work was performed by Gary Fuqua and his family.
Winery clients: Yamhill Valley Vineyards, Lange, Adelsheim, Sokol Blosser, Argyle and currently Purple
Hands (Wichmann Vineyard).
Old vines bottlings: None.
Mary’s Peak Vineyard
Roger Kohnert in his Mary’s Peak Vineyard
Owners: Roger Kohnert and Christina Fox.
Location: Philomath, OR, in the Willamette Valley AVA. A mile and a half from Tyee Wine Cellars near
Planting: 2.1 acres of Pinot Noir were planted from 1977-1980.
Pinot Noir scion: Own-rooted Wädenswil obtained from Myron Redford at Amity Vineyard that were propagated
Soil: Alluvial, sedimentary loam.
Vines: 8’ x 6’ spacing with sod in alternate rows. The vines are dry-farmed.
Farming: The non-sod rows get the pruned canes flailed in the spring and a cover crop is planted in the fail
after harvest. Vines are cane-pruned with a traditional VSP trellis. Leaves on the east side in the fruiting zone
are pulled in July to increase sunlight exposure, improve spray penetration, and make harvesting easier. The
vines are hedged in August to cut off lateral shoots and top the shoots above the top wire. At the same time,
the secondary crop is dropped from the fruiting zone to avoid being picked when the main crop is harvested by
Winery clients: Compton Family Wines
Old vines bottling: Compton Family Wines Mary’s Peak Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
Of interest: Mary’s Peak, at 4,097 feet, is the highest point in Oregon’s Coast Range and the most prominent
peak to the west of Corvallis. Located in the Siuslaw National Forest, it is designated a Scenic Botanical Area.
2017 Compton Family Wines Mary's Peak Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., $34.
Released March 2021. This dry-farmed vineyard consists of 2.1 acres of own-rooted Wädenswil Pinot Noir
planted between 1977 and 1980.
Light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry juice, balsam and earthy
flora draw you in. Graceful, silky and cohesive, offering flavors of red cherry, raspberry, and spice. This wine
has gentle power that packs more punch than the light color and demure composure would suggest. The
gossamer tannins provide enough support and the finish has persistence without weight. Inviting old vine Pinot
2018 Compton Family Wines Mary’s Peak Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., 50 cases, $32.
garnet color in the glass. Reaching aromas of dark red cherry
reduction, poached plum and forest timber. Light to mid-weight
in style but packed with cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruit
flavors that engage and expand on the palate. There is a subtle
underbelly of oak and dried herbs and some appealing spice
shows up on the very long finish. Silky in the mouth and grows
in appeal over time in the glass. Flat out great when tasted the
following day from a previously opened bottle. Uncompromising
and sophisticated and a steal at this price.
Owners: Frank Gorretta is the original owner who planted the vineyard on this 50-acre parcel of land. He
sold the property in 1997 and the new owner cut down the vines to make room for his horses. Amy Wesselman
and David Autry (Westrey Wine Company) purchased the property in the autumn of 2000, believing it was
unplanted land and a proven plot for excellent winegrowing. Amy and David brought in partners Christine and
David Vernier in 2019 who is helping to plant more acreage.
Location: Dundee Hills AVA.
Planting: Frank Goretta planted 7 acres of own-rooted vines in 1977: 1.25 acres of Pinot Noir, 3.5 acres of
Chardonnay and 2;25 acres of Pinot Gris. The original vines were cut down in the late 1990s. In the spring of 2001,
Amy and David prepared the soil for planting and noticed rows of bushes emerging where the old plantings had
been. The root structures of the vines had survived. After several vintages of careful pruning and training, the
original vineyard was brought back into production. An additional 15 acres of Pinot Noir (densely planted Dijon
115 and 777). and a small amount of Pinot Gris were added in 2001 bringing the total acreage to 22.
Pinot Noir scion: Own-rooted Pommard most likely sourced from David Lett.
Soil: Primarily Jory with a narrow strip of Nekia running through the middle of the vineyard.
Vines: The vineyard aspect is due south at an average elevation of 650’. Original vine 9’ x 4.5’ spacing with
Farming: LIVE certified and biodynamically farmed since 2019.
Winery clients: Westrey Wine Company, Winderlea, and Goodfellow.
Old vines bottlings: 2014 Westrey Cuvée 22 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir contains 3 barrels of Pommard
planted in 1977, 1 barrel of 38-year-old Coury clone, and 1 barrel of Pinot Noir planted in 1977 at Abbey Ridge
Vineyard. 2015 Westrey Cuvée 23 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir is the 23rd vintage of Willamette Valley wine
released by Westrey and is produced from old own-rooted Pommard vines. 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
Westrey Old Vine Cuvée Dundee Hills Pinot Noir are awaiting release. The regular Oracle Vineyard bottling
is a mix of old vine Pommard and Dijon grapes.growing.
2014 Westrey Cuvée 22 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
$60. Amy Wesselman’s 25th vintage. 75% old- vine Pommard
from Oracle Vineyard and 25% old-vine Coury clone from Abbey
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The
nose unravels slowly to reveal aromas of red cherry,
underbrush, and baking spice. The mid-weight core of dark red
cherry, ripe strawberry, and raspberry fruits are backed by
forthright energy. The fruit gifts build in intensity over time in the
glass. Silky in texture, with moderate sandy tannins in the
background and a noticeably long finish. Impressive freshness
for an 8-year-old wine. Even more delectable when tasted the
following day from a previously opened bottle. Easily a 15-year
2011 Westrey Oracle Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $30.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of peppery herbs and lean cherry. Aciddriven
flavors of cherry and black raspberry satisfy but the backing tannins are outlasting the fruit and
noticeably bold. Plush in mouthfeel with sustaining fruit on the finish. Drink up.
2012 Westrey Oracle Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $30.
Moderately dark garnet color in
the glass. Brightly scented with aromas of fresh cherry and sous-bois. Mid-weight essence of dark cherry with
good ripeness. Proportional tannins, excellent energy, and impressive length on the dry finish. Probably at its
apogee yet good for a few more years.
2013 Westrey Oracle Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $30.
Moderately light garnet color in
the glass. Nicely scented with aromas of fresh red cherry and red rose petal. Light to mid-weight in style,
offering lean flavors of red cherry and berry with a hint of greenness. The tannin spine sticks out a bit and
some oak surfaces over time in the glass. Drink up.
Abbey Ridge Vineyard
Abbey Ridge Vineyard
Owners: Bill and Julia Wayne arrived in Oregon from California in 1977 and bought 52 acres in the Red Hills
of Dundee the following year. The Waynes still own the original vineyard property.
Location: On NE Worden Road high in the Dundee Hills in the Dundee Hills AVA.
Planting: Bill Wayne had studied viticulture at UC Davis and consulted with David Lett, Dick Erath, and
Charles Coury prior to planting 2 acres in 1978 on the sunniest slope at the top of the property. He also planted
a block of Coury selection in 1980 (the Road Block) thinking it was Pommard. A second hillside was planted to
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in 1984. A block of Pinot Noir was planted in 1990 on a hillside above the original
vines known as Arley’s Leap. Currently, there are 20 acres of Pinot Noir all of which is still productive.
Pinot Noir scions: The original 2-acre planting was own-rooted Pommard and Wädenswil. The cuttings came
from Gary Fuqua, Dick Erath and David Lett. The 1980 planting of Pinot Noir was sourced from Hyland
Vineyard thinking it was Pommard but was in fact a Coury selection. When John Paul (Cameron Winery)
started receiving Pinot Noir grapes from Abbey Ridge Vineyard, he remarked, “No way it was Pommard.”
Soil: Volcanic Jory.
Vines: High in the Dundee Hills at an elevation of 650’-800’, one of the highest vineyards in the Dundee Hills.
Farming: Organic farming practices and dry-farmed. Member of the Deep Roots Coalition.
Winery clients: The Waynes, along with winemaker Paul Cameron and his spouse Teri Wadsworth, and
Shawn Archibald and Mare Dochez, co-established Cameron Winery in the Dundee Hills in 1983. The 1984
planting of Pinot Noir forms the basis for Cameron Winery’s Dundee Hills cuvées while the old vine plantings
are the source for Cameron’s Abbey Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir. Other clients include J.C. Somers, J.
Christopher, and Westrey Wine Co.
Old vines bottlings: Cameron Abbey Ridge Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Cameron Reserve
Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, J. Christopher Abbey Ridge Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, and J.C. Somers
Abbey Ridge Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir.
2017 Cameron Abbey Ridge Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
12.8% alc., $60.
Aromas of red and blue berries and
tobacco lead to a middleweight offering of red cherry, cardamom
spice, and savory herb flavors. Uplifting, glorious fruit that has
staying power through the mid-palate and very long finish.
Impeccable balance and thoroughly satisfying. Still bright and
giving when tasted two days later from a previously opened
bottle indicating long-term age ability.
2019 Cameron Abbey Ridge Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
12.6% alc., $65.
Dark garnet color in the
glass. A complex nose offers aromas of red cherry, cranberry, white pepper, and oregano. Red cherry and
purple berry flavors have a marked savory undertone. Slightly creamy on the palate, with restrained tannins
and bright acidity. Richer and riper fruited than the low ABV would suggest.
2017 Cameron Reserve Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
12.6% alc., $40.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass.
Intriguing aromas of dark berries, mushrooms and wet earth. The succulent black raspberry and blackberry
fruit flavors are accented with cardamom spice and oak. Mid-weight in richness with too much of an oak sheen
for my taste. Unchanged when tasted the day after opening from a re-corked bottle.
2018 Cameron Reserve Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $40.
Dark garnet color in the glass. Reserved
perfume of purple and black berries and sous-bois. The riper fruit profile reflects this warm vintage. Mid-weight
plus in style with flavors of black cherry, and purple and black berries with a savory herbal component. Silken in
the mouth with a tannic edge and a hint of oak in the background. This wine is both fruity and savory.
2019 Cameron Reserve Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
12.1% alc., $40.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass.
A seductive nose offers scents of black cherry, dark red rose petal and toasty oak. The delightful cherry core is
graced with captivating floral and spice tastes and a bit of oak-driven vanillin and herbs. Plush in texture with a
very long and upbeat finish.
2019 J.C. Somers Abbey Ridge Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., $65. According to vintner J.C. Somers, “Abbey
Ridge Vineyard is the finest Pinot site in the New World.”
Moderate garnet color in the glass. A marriage of cherry and
toasty oak on the nose with the cherry fruit coming to the
forefront over time. Very engaging and mouth-filling in a midweight
style with a strong entry, mid-palate presence and finish
all infused with cherry goodness. There is plenty of exotic spice
as well with added flavors of crisp bacon and oak-driven
tobacco. A very Pommard-like, dancing Pinot that is gently virile.
More gregarious with loads of spice and dissipated oak when
tasted the following day from previously opened bottle. A
hauntingly beautiful wine.
Cooper Mountain Old Vines Vineyard
Owners: Dr Robert and Corrine Gross.
Location: Beaverton, OR, in the Willamette Valley AVA.
Planting: 7 acres of Pinot Noir, 2 acres of Chardonnay and 1 acre of Pinot Gris were planted on the slopes of
Cooper Mountain, an extinct volcano. No interplanting or supplemental planting since the initial planting in
Cooper Mountain Old Vine Vineyard
Pinot Noir scion: Own-rooted, probably Pommard, of unknown source. The winery refers to the old vines as
the “Cooper Mountain clone”.
Soil: Saum silt loam.
Vines: Southwest-facing aspect with a 5% slope. Spacing is 6’ x 3.5’, with a VSP trellis.
Farming: Organic and Biodynamic® certified. Cooper Mountain was an early adaptor of sustainable growing
and received organic certification from Oregon Tilth in 1995. The founders are firm believers in biodynamic
farming practices and the Old Vine Vineyard was the first certified Biodynamic® vineyard in the Pacific
Northwest. Every bottle of estate wine contains only organic and biodynamic grown grapes. The trifecta here:
organic wines, organic winery and organic vineyards. Irrigation prohibited.
Winery clients: None, a monopole.
Old Vine bottlings: Cooper Mountain Mountain Terroir Old Vines Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
2017 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Mountain Terroir Old Vines Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., $65.
garnet color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of an array of wellripened,
dark fruits with a hint of tar and oak. The worthy core of
blackberry, Marionberry, cassis, pie spice and mushrooms-onthe-
grill flavors present in a fuller-bodied style. The extroverted
fruit core is tamed by ripe tannins and backed by a sidecar of
oak. More expressive and enjoyable when tasted the next day
from a previously opened bottle. Consider decanting now to tame
Five Mountain Vineyard
Five Mountain Vineyard
Owners: This vineyard was originally planted by the Ponzi family but acquired by Elk Cove Vineyards in 2005
after leasing the vineyard for several years, The vineyard was originally part of the same property that includes
Abetina and Madrona vineyards.
Location: Cornelius, OR, in the Laurelwood District AVA (a sub-AVA of the Chehalem Mountains)
Planting: Original planting was 4.2 acres of own-rooted Pommard clone Pinot Noir in 1978 remain viable
today. There have been subsequent plantings of Pinot Noir (Dijon 115), Chardonnay, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Pinot
Blanc, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer bringing the current total to 30 acres of planted vines.
Pinot Noir scion: Own-rooted Pommard clone sourced from Coury’s nursery.
Soil: Laurelwood (wind-blown silt).
Vines: The vineyard is southeast-facing at 500’ elevation with a view of five volcanoes in the Cascade
Farming: Sustainably farmed with organic inputs and non-irrigated.
Winery clients: This vineyard was an important contributor to the early Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noirs and has
been used as a single-vineyard bottling by a number of Oregon wineries through the years. It is now a
Old vines bottlings: Elk Cove Vineyards Five Mountain Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
includes both 1978 Pommard clone plantings and younger Dijon 115 clone grapes. Elk Cove Vineyards
Reserve Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir has contained contributions from the winery’s estate La Boheme
and Roosevelt vineyards as well as the old vines from Five Mountain Vineyard.
2017 Elk Cove Vineyards Five Mountain Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 741
cases, $60. Harvest Brix 24.0º. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 25% new.
Moderate garnet color in the
glass. The nose offers a joyous mix of cherry, licorice and sandalwood aromas. Both fruity and earthy in a midweight
plus style revealing a deep dive into ripe, dark fruits including blackberry and black current. Sleek in the
mouth, with a compliment of toasty oak and an extremely long finish.
2018 Elk Cove Vineyards Five Mountain Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., $60.
Dark garnet color in
the glass. Attractive aromas of black cherry reduction,
underbrush and sweet oak. This wine resembles the 2017
vintage but has more red fruit (both red and black cherry) less
oak input, more cohesiveness, and a longer, much longer finish.
The wine is nicely balanced with suave tannins, good verve, and
a gentle texture all combiner to deliver easy approachability and
a very seductive vibe.
2015 Elk Cove Vineyards 1978 Old Vines Selection Five Mountain Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
alc.. A donation to the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Barrel
Auction #2, Lot #53, bottle 58 of 60.
Moderate garnet color in
the glass. Intoxicating aromas of plump cherry and sous-bois.
Exceptionally delicious, sporting well-spiced and very bright red
cherry and red raspberry fruit flavors that engage and maintain
through a very long finish that offers endless aromatic
goodness. Impeccably balanced, with gentle tannins and a silky,
caressing demeanor.Still heaven sent when tasted the following
day from a previously opened bottle. WOW!
Murto Vineyard old vines
Owners: The vineyard was originally planted by Jim McDaniel with the guidance of Dick Erath and Jim
Maresh. It was sold to Mike and Robin Murto in 1991 and they cared for it for the following 27 years. In 2018,
the vineyard was purchased by Anthony and Lindsay Van Nice (Real Nice Winemakers/Woodshed Wine Company).
Location: Dundee Hills AVA
Planting: The original 7.8 acres of own-rooted Pommard Pinot Noir were planted by Jim McDaniel in 1978.
Subsequent planting was in 1992 (own-rooted Pommard), 1994 (unspecified own-rooted clone from Erath),
1995 (Pommard on 3309 rootstock), 1998 (Pommard on 101-14 rootstock), and 1998-2010 (Pommard on
191-14 rootstock, Dijon 115). The vineyard now spans 15.28 planted acres on a 26-acre site planted to
primarily own-rooted and rooted Pommard clone with a small amount of Wädenswil clone (not specified on the
Murto Vineyard map but included in the grapes sourced by Winderlea according to owner Bill Sweat).
Pinot Noir scions: Own-rooted Pommard primarily, Wädenswil (small amount), and Dijon 115.
Soil: Volcanic Jory
Vines: The vines are planted on a southwest-facing site at 700’-800’ elevation.
Farming: The Murtos did most of the farming until the sale of the vineyard. Dry-farmed from the beginning.
Belle Pente, Granville, White Rose Vineyard, and Winderlea. The Murtos bottled a small
amount of Pinot Noir under their own label, Cleo’s Hill, from 2002-2015.
Old vines bottlings: Belle Pente Vineyard & Winery Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir was produced through the
2019 vintage and was composed of 100% own-rooted Pommard clone planted in 1978. Winderlea Vineyard &
Winery Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir contains primarily own-rooted Pommard planted in 1978 and lesser
amounts of Wädenswil and Dijon 115. Winderlea offered both a de-stemmed and whole cluster version of Murto
Vineyard Pinot Noir in 2017 using the same block and selections. The new owners now keep about half of the fruit for a new winery to be named Woodshed Wine Company, a direct-to-consumer label. The remainder of the fruit is now sold to Antica Terra and Authentique
2008 Belle Pente Murto Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.4% alc.. Indigenous yeast fermentation, aged
18 months in French oak barrels, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately dark garnet in color with the
slightest bricking of the rim. This wine was fresh and glorious when first opened, then developed an aged
patina over time in the glass like a very well-aged grand Burgundy. Initially, the aromas of ripe cherry, spice,
arrowroot, sweet pipe smoke, and tilled earth were prevalent, becoming less fruity and more earthy in the glass
after an hour. The discretely concentrated black cherry and black raspberry fruit flavors were complimented
with anise, spice and umami. The generous and lengthy cherry-laden finish was remarkable initially. Drink up.
2018 Belle Pente Murto Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., $45. Indigenous yeast fermentation, aged 18
months in French oak barrels, bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of
black cherry, cardamom, and sous-bois. A deeply-flavored
black cherry core fills the mouth without overreaching. Very
spicy, with a complimentary trace of nutty oak. Thoroughly
enjoyable with supportive tannins, defining acidity and an
endless echo of cherry goodness on the finish. Even more
beguiling when tasted the following day from a previously
opened bottle, when its extroverted nose and tenacious flavor
of wild cherry sprinkled with spice and flowers revealed an old
2017 Winderlea Murto Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., pH 3.36, TA 0.64, 220 cases, $60.
Grapes were 100% de-stemmed. Aged 10 months in 17% new French oak barrels.
Light garnet color in the
glass. Brightly perfumed with aromas of red cherry, red berry, sandalwood and rose petal. Light to mid-weight
in style with gentle power. Juicy red cherry and red raspberry flavors are complimented by crisp acidity. The
tannins are nearly invisible and the finish was extraordinarily long. The nose was still captivating when the wine
was tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle.
2017 Winderlea Murto Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.58, 66 cases, $70. 100% whole
cluster fermentation. Aged 10 months in neutral French oak
barrels. Same blocks, same clones, but a completely different
The nose offers very sexy aromas of sousbois,
rose petal, wood sap, and the demure perfume of dark red
cherry and berry. My notes say “To die for!” More mouth filling
richness than the de-stemmed version of this wine and less
acid-driven with a rounder texture and evident but modest
tannins. This seems to be a slightly more serious and nuanced
wine than the de-stemmed version.
2018 Winderlea Murto Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.64, 245 cases, $60.
Grapes were 100% de-stemmed. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 3% new.
Moderately dark garnet
color in the glass. The nose is markedly nuanced with aromas of black cherry, dark red rose, cigar and
barnyard. More ripeness, richness and earthiness and less acid-driven than the 2017 version of this wine, and
more appealing. The core of black cherry and boysenberry fruit has an inviting earthy underpinning so
desirable in Pinot Noir. The tannic spine is gentle and the finish is very long and succulent. Still exceptional two
days later from a previously opened bottle when the extravagant nose carried on. The 2018 vintage seems
more age worthy than the 2017 vintage version of this wine.
2018 Winderlea Murto Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.59, 91 cases, $70.
100% whole cluster fermentation. Aged 10 months in neutral French oak barrels.
Moderately dark garnet color
in the glass. Earth and barnyard aromas are combined with blackberry and old barrel aromas. Mid-weight plus
in richness, showing weighty black cherry and blackberry sap framed by muscular tannins. Somewhat brooding
at this stage as often expected early from whole cluster fermented Pinot Noirs and will benefit from more time
in the cellar. Re-tasted the following day and two days later from a previously opened bottle and the wine was
more giving yet still a bit husky and reserved.
White Rose Vineyard
White Rose Vineyard
Owner: Greg Saunders since 2000
Location: The Dundee Hills near Domaine Drouhin, Archery Summit and Domaine Serene in the Dundee Hills
Planting: Initial planting of the 10-acre vineyard was between 1978 and 1982.
Pinot Noir scion: Own-rooted Pommard clone.
Soil: Volcanic Jory.
Vines: East-southeast-facing slopes at 879’ elevation. Spacing was 10’ x 7’ but there have been interplanting
beginning in 2014 with cuttings from the original vines grafted onto rootstock 3309 (see photo). The advantage
of the 10’ row spacing is that the vines do not shade each other allowing for a taller canopy. The goal is to
make the vines stress themselves to reach deeper into the soil to generate enough nutrients to support the
taller vines, eventually getting a bigger canopy to absorb more energy from the sun.
Winery clients: Torii Mor (2017).
Old vines bottling: White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir.
Of Interest: The first vintage from White Rose Estate was 2001. The winery was the PinotFile 2014 “Winery
of the Year.”
2018 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
12.9% alc., pH 3.69, 350 cases, $125. 100%
whole cluster fermentation. Aged 12 months in French oak
barrels, 10% new.
A terrific whole cluster-inspired nose offers
soaring aromas of exotic spice, cherry, burnt tobacco, and
sweet pipe smoke. Gorgeous in the mouth, with a prominent
whole cluster spice character. Mid-weight flavors of red cherry
and ripe strawberry clothed in gracious tannins. Over time in
the glass the whole cluster character becomes more
integrated and the wine reaches new heights of enjoyment. I
like this wine for its uniqueness among Oregon Pinot Noirs,
offering a singular style that I can really embrace.