Prime vineyard land in Oregon is difficult to find. Most of the premier vineyards are on east facing slopes. The reason for this is that the first sun of the day dries dew or rain from the vines helping to prevent diseases. Plus, the plant gets the benefit of the sun in the cooler part of the day instead of the hot afternoon sun. Cooler climate varietals such as pinot noir thrive in these conditions. The vineyards are on slopes to allow the cooler air to flow off the vineyard into the valleys below. Typically, vines below 250 feet in elevation are subject to the potential damaging frost. Vines above 1000 feet face a higher potential from damaging freezes and difficult ripening. After the east facing slopes, the southern facing and then west facing slopes are favored. Only rarely do you find any vineyards in Oregon that are planted on north facing slopes because ripening may not occur before the fall rains. The soil on the valley floor is very rich and can cause excessively vigorous vines which do not produce the best grapes for wine.
One of the major components of the vineyard is the type of soil. Our vineyard has both sedimentary and volcanic soils. The same clone grown in two different soils types will yield wine with different flavor profiles. This will give us greater flexibility in developing wines of depth and complexity. Our vineyard soils suitable for grapes are currently classified as Jory, Nekia, Yamhill and Peavine. Soils in Oregon are undergoing extensive review by the U.S. Geological Survey department. The soils will soon be reclassified and receive different names. So, for now, we are happy that we have both volcanic and sedimentary soils and let others chose what the correct name should be.
Our property is 200 acres in size. Approximately 80 acres are suitable for planting to grapes. This is about equally split between volcanic and sedimentary soil. The rest of the property is planted to Douglas fir timber and generally too steep to farm without use of specialized equipment such as rubber tracked crawlers. We are located 12 miles southwest of McMinnville Oregon in the McMinnville AVA. The majority of the property is east and south facing slopes. The property starts at the 210 foot elevation and is 740 feet at the highest point. Our view of the Willamette Valley is simply spectacular with Mt. Hood prominent on a clear day.
Initially we have chosen 3 clones for our pinot noir. We have chosen Pommard, and the Dijon clones 115 and 777 for our first blocks. They are planted on Southeast facing slopes in predominantly volcanic soil. We have also planted Pinot Gris and Riesling so that we have some white wine as well. The whites are planted at the highest elevation on the property. We will probably add an additional white at some time in the future, but are currently evaluating varietals and clones that we feel will do well in our soil type and elevations that we would plant them. All our vines are grafted to 101-14 or 3309 rootstock. Our vineyard is dry-farmed, however we are using supplemental watering the first year to apply fertilizer and assist the immature vines in establishing a good root system.
J Wrigley will be open Friday-Monday on Memorial Day Weekend, 11-5. Come check out the construction ... Read More >
J Wrigley Welcomes Denison Cellars Sunday June 9, 2013 Noon to 4:30 pm $10 Cover Includes: ... Read More >
Harvest time is magical. Come and enjoy the vineyard and wines with us at the top of Cherry Hill. The ... Read More >
Thank you to our fantastic club members who came out to support us on Opening Weekend. Likely the ... Read more >
After a perfect harvest the first wines from the 2012 vintage are ready for tasting. We are very ... Read more >
Although the vineyard sleeps in the winter, the caretakers don't have that option. This winter ... Read more >