Our mission is simple: care for the land, make exceptional wine and enjoy life’s journey. Exceptional wine begins in the vineyard; that’s why our vineyard is certified Salmon-Safe and sustainable by L.I.V.E. (Low Input Viticulture and Enology). We believe that sustainable farming makes better wine. Oregon “vineyard lore” suggests that abundant poison oak indicates a great site. Happily for us (except when Mark used a chain saw to remove some massive plants), we’re covered under both schools of thought.
Kristjan’s block was planted in the fall of 2006 with Pommard and Dijon-777 clones of Pinot Noir. The eight-acre block sits on a southwest slope (465-530′ elevation) of Jory and Nekia soil types.
Our vineyard blocks are named after our children. We had intended to name our first planted block for our oldest child Kaitlyn. In August of 2006, we were clearing the block for planting. Mark tried to get Kaitlyn to help pick rocks. In typical teenage fashion, Kaitlyn refused. By the end of the day, the block was named for a more enthusiastic rock-picker. There is still no vineyard block named for Kaitlyn, but there’s more land to plant and more rocks to pick.
About half of Claire’s block was planted in the fall of 2009. This three-acre piece sits on a east-slope, at an elevation of 510-550′, and is planted with Pinot Noir Dijon clones 667 and 115. The planted portion of Claire’s block had few rocks and is primarily Jory soil. The remainder of Claire’s block has gentle north, south and west slopes and we intend to plant Auxerrois and Chardonnay in these areas.
Claire has cleverly avoided a lot of vineyard labor by volunteering for indoor chores. One day Grandpa discovered her inside folding laundry. “Claire,” he said, “I didn’t know you knew how to do laundry.” She replied, “Grandpa, anything is better than picking rocks!” Thankfully, while we were outside, she kept the home fires burning.
Hunter’s four-acre block has south and southwest facing slopes at an elevation of 480-560′. The soil is predominately Nekia and it is planted with Dijon-115 and Wadenswil clones of Pinot Noir.
When we were clearing Hunter’s block, we were told, “You’re wasting your time. You’ll never be able to grow anything here; there’s barely enough dirt to hold the rocks together.” After removing more than 400 tons of rock, the young Wadenswil vines, planted in the rockiest part of the vineyard, are thriving. Eight-year-old Hunter cleared many tons of rock himself.