Cottonwood Meadows Vineyard
We planted this vineyard in the mid-'90s and have managed it carefully not only for our own micro-production Estate wines but also to learn more about techniques and clones to guide us in the purchase of fruit from other growers. Only about two acres of our land are suitable for grapes. A little over an acre is planted in eight different clones of Pinot noir, including Dijon 375, Dijon 10-18, Wadenswil and Pommard. This fruit makes up a small proportion, but greatly contributes to the complexity, of our Marina Piper and Brigette Catherine Pinot noirs. The rest of the vineyard is planted with small amounts of Chardonnay, Cabernet sauvignon, Gamay noir, Muller-Thurgau, Tempranillo, and Sauvignon blanc, from which Aaron crafts our Estate varietal wines and blends. Cottonwood Meadows is in one of the warmest spots in the Willamette Valley on the East side of the Eola Hills. Soil in the vineyard is tan alluvium washed into the valley by the Missoula floods about 16,000 years ago.
Located in the Red Hills of Dundee, this vineyard lies between the Sokol Blosser Vineyard and Domaine Drouhin Vineyard. The Durants have been growing grapes in this prime location since the 1970’s and are widely recognized as one of the top growers in the state. Soils here are mainly the famous red Jory, but also include a small amount of Woodburn. Our barrel select 2002 Brigette Catherine Pinot noir is primarily from the Casita block of this vineyard, while much of the fruit for our 2005 Brigette Catherine came from the Madrone block. Other blocks, especially Paloma, contributed to the early vintages of our Marina Piper Pinot noir. Durant grapes are no longer available to us as they now produce their own wines, but our 2005 Brigette Catherine remains available for sale along with the last few bottles of the 2002.
Winter's Hill Vineyard
Also located in the Red Hills of Dundee, this vineyard lies between the Stoller Vineyard and the Domaine Serene Vineyard. These long-time growers provided us grapes for the 2002 Marina Piper Pinot noir, and a small portion of the 2002 Brigette Catherine Pinot noir--our first official bottling. They continue to supply us with excellent fruit today, and Aaron has paid homage to their expertise with his vineyard-designate bottling of our 2011 Winter's Hill Pinot noir.
This vineyard is located in the Yamhill-Carlton area, another of the prime Pinot noir growing areas in Yamhill County. The soil types here are Carlton and Willakenzie, the clone they grow for us is Wadenswil, one of traditional Burgundy clones and one that Aaron has encouraged the planting of since his days as a vineyard manager. Wine from this vineyard has its own unique terroir. It makes a significant contribution to the body, flavor and complexity of our 2005 Brigette Catherine.
Syrah is a grape that likes more heat than Pinot noir. That is why ours come from this prominent vineyard in the Yakima Valley near Prosser, Washington. We find the quality of these grapes to be unsurpassed. The skill of the grower provides us with grapes that have more acid and softer tannins than most Syrahs. That makes possible the outstanding balance in our Raya Jade Syrah.