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2022 08 Hamilton Family High Res 0308

Lauren Allen Photography

Thanks for visiting Violin Wine, producing Pinot noir and Chardonnay in Oregon’s Willamette Valley since 2013. Our fundamental goal remains to produce wines of regional character and distinction, and we hope you agree that our pursuit of an elegant style leads to the clearest and most delicious picture of place and time. We cannot overstate the significance of our grower partnerships in shaping the quality and complexion of our brand, and hope to honor their dedicated efforts with attentive and uncompromising craft in the cellar.

(For more detail on owner Will Hamilton's evolution as a producer, click here)

We host tastings by appointment at our shared winery space in Amity. Please contact us by phone or email in advance to schedule timing. Our contact information is at the bottom of the site, where you can also subscribe to our mailing list to receive our newsletters and wine release emails, or to learn more about our bi-annual wine subscription we call the Guild

If you are 21 or over, online order forms are available by clicking the "Purchase" link, with shipping options to most U.S. States. Be in touch directly for information; we are always happy to help expedite orders and talk through selections

Our distribution network has grown modestly with our own increased production. You can find certain wines we've made in North Carolina, California, Nebraska, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia, Connecticut, New York, and of course our home in Oregon. Please let us know if we can help you locate retailers and restaurants who carry Violin if you are in these states

A sincere thank you to all of our loyal customers who allow us the chance to continue doing what we love: crafting beverage time capsules from dry-farmed vines on the hillsides of our beautiful valley home. We hope to see you soon, or share a place at your table through vinous spirit


Cheers

Will

The Wines

Purchase

Current Releases

  • 2021 Sojeau Vineyard Pinot noir [label]

    2021 Sojeau Vineyard Pinot noir

    $65

    Sojeau returns in 2021 with a new level of intensity and verve. The arc and elegance combine for our most enticing and complete texture in the cellar

    Having skipped bottling individual vineyard wines in 2020, the ’21 becomes Violin’s fifth edition of Pinot from this site, incorporating 6 of the 12 total barrels we filled for a volume of nearly 150 cases. The wet and cold weather in mid June disrupted the success of bloom at Sojeau more than other vineyards, leaving berry size uniquely tiny and cluster weights low. As a result, we had similarly modest yields as in the previous vintage (well under 2 tons per acre). Sojeau’s robust canopy allowed for a quite rapid push to the finish line; September 11th being the earliest pick in our decade of working with the site. The intensity in the wines is very much the story of this early and low yielding scenario, with richly layered texture against finely integrated framework. The balance of elements always leans Sojeau Pinot in the direction of elegance, the acids perfectly situated within the dense core. The old saying “iron fist in a velvet glove” could even be applied to Sojeau —with the power and concentration in this bottling achieving a compelling sense of purity and gracefulness after the extended aging and meticulous barrel selection. Racked to tank in mid December before bottling on January 23rd, 2023

    145 Cases Made

  • 2021 Koosah Vineyard Pinot noir [label]

    2021 Koosah Vineyard Pinot noir

    $65

    Our two acre block at Koosah Vineyard represents the highest elevation Pinot noir grown in the Eola-Amity Hills. Exotic and immense aromatic expression leading to perhaps the finest, most luxurious tannins in our range. Our first and only example bottled from the site

    Koosah, translated as “heavenly sky” in local Chinook jargon, became a fitting name for the 80 acre saddle of a windswept pinnacle in the central Eola-Amitys hills, purchased and developed by Kevin and Carla Chambers to become what was their self described “magnum opus”. After more than a quarter century farming their former vineyard Resonance, (and in addition to many roles in bettering the Oregon wine community and industry), they began planting the Basalt laden crest in 2016, with a current total of nearly 45 acres under vine. The majority of the site tilts steeply down an Eastern face, resulting in well exposed rows with elevation change of nearly 200 vertical feet, while the Western side of the apex drops steeply downhill before forming a bowl with young vines on the far edge of the property. Situated like a helix shape in this high, protected valley is the first Pinot noir, Block 1, a 2.15 acre parcel planted in a massale selection of 5 Dijon clones, ranging from 950 to almost 1050 feet elevation. We believe this is the highest elevation Pinot noir being farmed in the Eola-Amity Hills.

    We reference “The Cosmic Pipe” after the Radionic Broadcaster of the same colloquial name, fixed into the fractured Basalt just above the steep set of vines adjacent to this block. To some extent, we consider the Pipe the axis for the energy of the farm, and Kevin would claim it is used as much to focus our intent as winegrowers. While we have also worked with rows from the lower Eastern block, the vigor and energy in Block 1 has resulted in our most expressive and complete wines from the young site.

    2021 was the first year this canopy hit a mature stride, yielding the perfect amount of fruit for two identical three ton fermenters, filled using 10% as whole clusters. These were wonderfully foamy and energetic ferments, hitting ideal peak temperatures and finishing their sugar conversions before twenty days. After nearly 16 months in a selection of tight-grained French Oak including 25% new, The Cosmic Pipe rested in stainless for just over three weeks before bottling on March 23, 2023.

    Heady mix of crushed berries, seaweed salad, high floral tones and pitty funk. Tense, purple, almost crushed pez, a fragrant spiced character frames the broad range of wound up aromatics. Super juicy on entry, the strength of the wine well matched against vibrating acid. Spicy fruit but not only red, an almost exotic shade shows more evident on the palate. Tannins are especially refined here, prickly in their youth but with a powerful level of throughput and persistence. All the way from fresh and bright to dark and brooding, an overarching elegance lends a very sexy, alluring quality—uniquely rounded and graceful build around a coiled and mouthwatering core.

    13.5% alcohol

    95 Cases Made

  • 2021 Witness Tree Vineyard Pinot noir [label]

    2021 Witness Tree Vineyard Pinot noir

    $65

    From a mature, late 90s planting on the shallow cap near the pinnacle of the site. A classic example of the "Spring Valley Zone"--deft red fruits, savory understory, and crisp, refreshing mouthfeel

    Witness Tree remains an “historic” site in the Eola-Amity Hills; its 100 acres situated vertically from the undulating base along Spring Valley Road and ending at 700 feet along the borders of both Cristom’s Eileen Vineyard and Argyle’s Spirit Hill. Its namesake White Oak anchors the central precipice of volcanic clay and boulders, initially used as a surveyor’s landmark in 1854 and still bearing the claim on its chiseled, formally burned out trunk. Certain blocks date back to the 1990s, though the current landscape has undergone dramatic replanting since 2017 and now comprises some 80 acres under vine. The topography includes the lower, middle and upper sections, and we view them as quite distinct parcels. Our focus is on the upper ledge, in high density plantings of Pommard from both 1999 and 2012. Since 2015, the vines have been thoughtfully managed by Organic master Ryan Hannaford and his long time team, who brought health back to some of the more mature parts of the site while replanting the vast majority to a range of clones and aspects in Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and a single block of Aligoté.

    This 2021 bottling, our first from the site, comes exclusively from four of the six barrels produced from the older block (Upper 14), fermented with 15% as whole cluster for a total of 18 days on skins. This wine behaved with distinction and elegance from its very early days and spent virtually sixteen months on its primary lees in a selection of impactful French Oak, 25% new. Racked to tank in mid February to rest for a further month before bottling on March 23, 2023.

    Bursting red fruits with cedar and earth components complimenting a subtle, herbal understory. A very fresh and focused sense of drive. Taught entry, good creaminess despite the youthfully tannic frame. Slight reductive character against sappy, woodsy richness marks an obvious tension with dense and juicy red fruits unfolding across the mid palate. Savory and long, the persistence is even more ethereal considering its mild weight, offering the sense of depth and linger that deep roots from mature vines can bring. Representing, in honorable style, the more classic side of the Eola-Amity Hills.

    12.8% alcohol

    95 Cases Made

  • 2021 First Man Vineyard Pinot noir [label]

    2021 First Man Vineyard Pinot noir

    $65

    Purity and subtlety again from this Tualatin Hills AVA monopole. High use of whole clusters with noticeably structural tannins

    Our monopole, the 1900 vine, personal project of my friend and colleague Adam Radtke and his wife Jennifer. The Tualatin Hills AVA includes these foothills outside of Gaston, capturing cooler air at night than any of my Eola Hills counterparts. We included nearly a third as whole cluster in this ferment, filling only three barrels and choosing the best two for this bottling. The nose carries the carbonic lift we hope for, and the aging on lees for nearly 16 months helps to soften the otherwise firm casing of the wine. As with the other 21 Pinots, the sense of freshness and finesse is evident, with First Man always leaning toward a red fruit profile and a characteristic savory edge. Bottled on January 23rd, 2023

    45 Cases Made

  • 2021 Polk County Cuvée Pinot noir [label]

    2021 Polk County Cuvée Pinot noir

    $45

    Mature vines bringing depth and persistence for our most compelling blend yet. From Temperance Hill, Witness Tree, Justice and Sojeau Vineyards in the Southern Eola-Amity Hills

    ’21 PCC has two new players in the blend; mature vines from Temperance Hill (the NE corner of the site includes these “Twelve Rows” of low density, early 90s planting adjacent to Cristom’s Eileen Vineyard), and the late 90s planting of Pommard near the top of Witness Tree (about 300 feet away from the Temperance Block). These build the base with three barrels each, supplemented by two barrels each of Justice and Sojeau, for a ten barrel selection. Always aiming to find the more savory and classic side in this Eola-Amity blend, we are so pleased to have more of it come from the “Spring Valley” zone this year. All barrels from this selection were assembled in tank in mid February after 16 months on lees, where they came together for a further four weeks before bottling on March 23rd, 2023.

    Immediate complexity in the nose, from dark cherry and berry compote to savory dried hazelnut, oyster juice and cedar. Floral and funky, with cassis, turned earth and spicy understory competing in the glass. Mouth-coating attack, good pull and energy across the palate despite initial firmness from the tannic frame. Maraschino cherries, graphite, some grime to the grip but all wound up in a very elegantly weighted package. The persistence and savoriness surround a nervy skeleton that drives the wine toward a hauntingly long but very fine finish. The pieces have molded together for a gorgeous Eola mix; Sojeau and Justice bring more complete, powerful fruit cores, while Witness Tree and Temperance focus the wine towards earthier and more classic elements, ethereal fruit and floral tones, and spiraling tannins leading to a pleasantly sneaky sense of depth.

    13% alcohol

    240 Cases Made

  • 2021 Willamette Valley Pinot noir [label]

    2021 Willamette Valley Pinot noir

    $35

    95% Eola-Amity Hills, the '21 WV strikes all the chords with classic red fruit, spice and supple tannin structure

    A wine that could legally/technically carry the Eola-Amity Hills appellation, with only around 4.5% from First Man Vineyard in the North Valley. Fresh and bright, the poised and focused frame leads toward a satin and spiced finish. The finesse is striking. The biggest component comes from the high elevation Koosah Farm (10 barrels), but also includes Sojeau Vineyard (four barrels), Sylvia’s Vineyard (six barrels), Witness Tree Vineyard (five barrels), and the Easternmost block of Temperance Hill Vineyard called “12 Rows” (4 barrels). Aged on lees in 228L barrels until the second week of December ’22, allowing for nearly six weeks of time to come together in tank before bottling on January 23rd, 2023

    775 Cases Made

  • 2021 Black Walnut Vineyard Chardonnay [label]

    2021 Black Walnut Vineyard Chardonnay

    $65

    Our last edition from the high elevation clonal mix block--wonderful balance and intensity to close the curtain on Hannaford and crew's final season farming the site

    The core of the blend came from a 500L puncheon that was filled directly from pressing with no settling of juice, balanced by two 228L barrels, one new. This site handles the wood beautifully, with mouthwatering acids across the palate, supporting the more exotic fruit tones we’ve come to expect from this three clone medley at 900 feet; the “bullseye” of the Dundee Hills (above Maresh). Aged on lees in cooperage until mid September, and finished in stainless steel until bottling on the 23rd of January, 2023.

    80 Cases Made

  • 2021 Willamette Valley Chardonnay [label]

    2021 Willamette Valley Chardonnay

    $35

    Perfumey aromatics and rounded mid palate give the '21 a unique power and generosity despite restraint and precision on the finish. Black Walnut provides the base with smaller amounts of Sojeau and Witness Tree Vineyards.

    Includes a single barrel from the young vines at the top of Witness Tree Vineyard, making this blend from three different sites, all planted in volcanic soils. The 5 barrels of Black Walnut Vineyard give this wine its base, and with the addition of two barrels of Sojeau make it just under 200 total cases produced. Fermented and aged on lees in 228 liter barrels before finishing in stainless steel from mid September until bottling on January 23rd. Perfumey orchard fruits and white flowers dominate the nose before showing candied citrus notes. Dense core and rounded attack integrate the rather lively acid profile. Best we’ve done to date.

    13.2% alcohol

    195 Cases Made

  • MV Willamette Valley Pinot noir [label]

    MV Willamette Valley Pinot noir

    $30

    The "80/20" represents the best examples of 2020 Pinot noir we made, freshened and lifted by the addition of 20% from 2021 Koosah Vineyard Pinot. Savory tones throughout, with floral perfume and barrel spice adding intrigue and depth across gentle, finely balanced structure

    The “80/20" will go down as the highest percentage of Eola-Amity Hills (92%) of any previous version, augmented by the fact that all 20% of 2021 wine came from Koosah Vineyard, the highest elevation Pinot noir being grown in the AVA. 2020 Vintage: 11% Koosah, 20% Temperance Hill, 22% Sylvia’s, 6% Justice, 13% Witness Tree, and 8% First Man (Tualatin Hills AVA). By vineyard alone, Koosah represents the biggest portion of the blend. Though it sits at such high elevation, ’21 was a successful year for the young site, and produced a rounded and vibrant texture that was well suited to marry with the highly dense and structured 2020 wines. (It is worth noting our decision to not produce vineyard designate wines from Pinot noir this vintage, using pieces in this blend that would normally stand alone. In particular, the old vines from Temperance Hill, Witness Tree, and Justice Vineyard help extend the depth of tannin and “soulfulness” in this addition to dramatic lengths).

    It was my goal to wait as long as possible for bringing the two vintages together in order that the 2021 Koosah had at least three months of barrel aging and natural clarification. While the 2020 Pinots were assembled in tank in early December after 14 months in barrel, the “MV” blend was only made a week before bottling on January 26th, 2020. I have never before planned to blend mature wines with youthful wines, and I suspect we will see some amount of random expression in bottle until the elements have had time to find their collective “voice”. I believe these elements are of the highest quality however, and have not been impeded by the use of fining agents, adjuncts or high pressure filtration, allowing us the opportunity to enjoy a wine made from the same sites, but over two growing seasons instead of one. By utilizing the same techniques that have brought forth our sense of style over the last seven vintages, we hope to have found a purity of regional expression through the lens of Pinot noir for an eight time under the Violin brand.

    Barrel spice and raspberry come together in the nose, with savory, floral and “sous bois” underpinnings laying a framework for darker, muddled berry fruits. A well integrated core of acidity produces succulence and juiciness on entry and across the middle, displaying elegant palate balance and edgy, almost chewy tannins that extend the finish. “Compact” is the term I think best fits the texture of this wine, a true reflection of the minimal yields in 2020, resulting in layered intensity, classic weight, and general refinement.

    13% alcohol

    740 cases and 12 magnums produced

    740 Cases Made

Past Releases

  • 2021

  • 2021 Sojeau Vineyard Chardonnay

    The rocky, lower block of Sojeau has delivered a beauty in 2021, with the power and concentration evident in the aromatic strength and textural drive. Built around an almost new 500L puncheon that was filled directly with no settling from the press. A mineral drive and electricity dominate this wine back to front, with a bright mix of floral and lemon zest balancing the more savory and salty elements. Aged on lees until mid September, finished in stainless steel until bottling on January 23rd 2023

    75 Cases Made

  • 2021 Justice Vineyard Pinot noir

    The last two years I’ve split the “DDW” block with owner/winemaker Ben Casteel of Bethel Heights, so am only able to fill four barrels, my two favorite making this cuvée of only 590 bottles. Planted in 2000 just below what is now Walter Scott Winery, the western position provides some shade and protection when most of the site stays more exposed. Normally I expect more structure in Justice, but the ’21 has a notable creaminess and balance of elements that gives it an appealing silkiness. Still darker toned and purply with bursting aromatics, but a robust earthiness brings a welcomed restraint and complexity to the profile. Assembled from barrels in mid December to rest in tank before bottling on January 23rd, 2023

    45 Cases Made

  • 2020

  • 2020 Willamette Valley Chardonnay

    50/50 blend from our two lots of Chardonnay, Black Walnut in Dundee and Sojeau in the Eola-Amity Hills. The two play well together again; the more austere and salty Black Walnut provides a focused and taught structure that anchors the ripe and flamboyant aromatic spectrum of Sojeau. While we chose to use our normal, extended pressing cycle for both lots, our decision to leave behind lees was our only effort to mitigate any sort of smoke concerns. Both lots behaved normally throughout barrel fermentation and aging, and the majority were racked to stainless steel in late August before final blending and filtration a week before bottling on January 26th of 2022.

    Ripe melon, honeysuckle, lemon and orange peel produce a wide range in the nose, with a salty, mineral drive coming to the forefront after. Rounded edges are well integrated in the generally lithe framework, the oak tones offering just enough richness against the laser acids to extend the length dramatically despite the moderate alcohol.

    12.7% alcohol

    250 cases and 12 magnums produced

    250 Cases Made

  • 2020 Black Walnut Vineyard Chardonnay

    The ’20 Black Walnut came from all three clones on this westernmost block of the site: 76, 95 and 70. After whole cluster pressing, we were cautious in our juice selection going to barrel. Malolactic conversion took longer in barrel due to the higher acid profile, but when complete in early Spring helped capture an electric sense of tension in the wine. The three barrels that formed this blend saw extended élevage, not being racked to stainless until early December of 2021. We only used enough of the blend to bottle 50 cases, bottled on January 26th of 2022.

    Aromas are focused but complex with exotic citrus and spiced, almost candied orchard fruit, white tea, vanilla and lemon oil. A barely green edge rides in and out on a bursting attack of lemon rind, golden apple and more austere wet stones, saline, and a spiciness we have come to associate with Chardonnay from the site. No question this is built around a taught, acid backbone, but the drive and strength of the wine suggests it will unravel slowly and offer more generosity over time, particularly considering its full malolactic conversion and relatively mild alcohol. Mouthwatering and salty.

    12.4% alcohol

    50 cases and 12 magnums produced

    50 Cases Made

  • 2019

  • 2019 Willamette Valley Pinot noir

    Six total vineyards are included in the 2019 version, with two Eola Hills sites, Lewman (1%) and Koosah (14%) , entering the picture for the first time. 91% from the Eola-Amity Hills, the platform is again the own-rooted Sylvia’s on the NorthEast fringe of the AVA (38%), Sojeau on the West side (22%), and Justice (16%). For the 7th year running, Adam Radtke’s one acre “First Man” Vineyard brings the balance (9%).

    Due to the fragile nature of the fruit, I used less whole cluster in 2019, adding around 8-10% on some but not all lots, (though First Man was still 50%). After only 14-18 days on skins, the individual ferments were drained and gently pressed before barreling within 24-72 hours. After nearly 14 months in a mix of new (15%) and used French Oak, the wines were brought together in tank for a further 6 weeks before bottling on January 20, 2021.

    Exuberantly perfumed, the 2019 has exotic and fresh aromatic expression with an edginess that broadens the landscape. A generous spiced component compliments the array of fruits, providing sweetness and depth. The entry showcases the textural roundness of the vintage, which carries the wine toward a refreshing and crisp finish with trademark savoriness and beautiful integration of tannin. As heavy as we like in Pinot noir, we look forward to the slow concentration and complexity that bottle age will reveal.

    13% alcohol

    590 Cases Made

  • 2019 Willamette Valley Chardonnay

    Two new blocks (one new site) entered the picture for Chardonnay in 2019; a high mixed block from Black Walnut Vineyard in the Dundee Hills and and the low block of Sojeau, planted to 3.2 acres of clones 76 and 95 in 2015. At 900 feet, three clones on three acres at BW have a slightly Western tilt at the top of the ridge and see some shading from the neighboring forest that helps to slow down ripening dramatically as the season progresses into Fall. While Dundee is known for deep, volcanic clay, this cap on the hilltop has shallower soils where the vines find fractured basalt bedrock more rapidly in their early growth. Sojeau’s Chardonnay block is the boulder-field at the bottom of the steep site, and walking through this section can be treacherous. As like the Pinot noir, these vines have shown the perfect balance between vigor and restraint, and seem to take on a more robust textural strength from impact of marine breezes coming in through the Van Duzer Corridor to the immediate West.

    Whole cluster pressing was followed by a brief, 24 hour settling before barreling juice with virtually all lees available (one barrel of Sojeau went directly from the press). Ambient yeasts instigated fermentation in both lots, which completed primary fermentation between 30 and 50 days, and malolactic conversion within several months. Stirring of lees was limited to primary fermentation and the beginning of ML, but did not occur for the majority of the barrel aging. Other than two barrels of BW, the wines were racked with their lees to tank at the beginning of September, and final blending occurred in late December, (approximately 75% Sojeau and 25% Black Walnut), before “natural” cold stabilization outside. Gentle filtration was done five days before bottling on January 20, 2021.

    Wet stones, crushed orchard fruit, orange blossom and saline help produce a wide range of subtle and austere aromatics. Immediately mouth-coating, round and creamy, but slowly focuses around the taught acid core. The tension and balance between the structure, concentration, and acidity create noticeable persistence with soft edges and glassy texture.

    13% alcohol

    125 Cases Made

  • 2019 Polk County Cuvée Pinot noir

    For my palate, the most elegant wine of the vintage. The co-ferment of Justice and Lewman produced four barrels (one new), the balance of two barrels from Sojeau. Combined as a blend in December of 2019 after almost 15 months on lees, spending an additional month in tank before bottling on January 20, 2020.

    Striking dark cherry against lavender, rose petal and bramble. Laser focus on entry, with freshness and exuberance guiding the palate. The concentration and power of Sojeau provides lovely framework for the ethereal fruit core of Justice/Lewman, and together form the sort of taught and mouthwatering package that makes Pinot noir such a pleasure to savor and drink.

    145 Cases Made

  • 2019 Sojeau Vineyard Pinot noir

    Picked on Dennis’ birthday, the 30th of September, Sojeau Pinot noir brought us the ultimate in balanced chemistry and concentration. Our yields were down almost 20% from 2018, but the cool finish to harvest meant we hit our mark perfectly with respect to ripeness. I fermented two lots, the larger of the two with 18% as whole cluster, and a “sans stems” lot of 100% destemmed berries. The final blend came from three barrels of the 18% whole cluster lot and one barrel from the all destemmed lot, racked in early January after almost 16 total months in oak, 25% new, and bottled on the 20th of the month with the other 19s. 13.4% alcohol.

    95 Cases Made

  • 2019 Sojeau Vineyard Chardonnay

    Picked on my son’s birthday, September 21st, the Autumnal equinox, Sojeau Chard got the vintage started after a several weeks of cooler than average and wet weather. Our whole cluster pressing included filling a new barrel directly from the press pan, a barrel that anchors this blend as 25% of the total. After a day in tank settling, the remaining juice went to barrels with virtually all available lees, where fermentation instigated with ambient yeasts. Alcoholic fermentation lasted 30-45 days, with the malolactic conversion entirely complete by February. The wines aged on their lees in barrel until early September when they were racked to tank to spend the remaining four and half months of life in stainless steel before gentle filtration and then bottling on January 20, 2021.

    Full of tension in the nose and on the palate, Sojeau Chardonnay has a long life of unravelling ahead. Intense aromatic pop, almost a spicy quality, with lemon oil, pineapple, orchard fruits and floral accents all competing. The wine sheds layers in the glass to reveal new details, from the more overt and cool fruits to savory, baked cakes and breads, back to austere tones with salty lime edges. The compact palate delivers a tense core, with finely balanced acidity in perfect balance to create “tug” and length. This is dense and concentrated wine for such moderate alcohol, with phenolic structure adding persistence that carries the citrus twist and laser focus on and on and on and on and on…..and then the bottle disappears. Graceful and powerful at once.

    70 Cases Made

  • 2019 Justice Vineyard Pinot noir

    The 2019 version comes exclusively from the 1.2 acre “DDW” block, the only wine produced from a single clone in the portfolio (777). The vines see some late day shading from the tree line along Bethel Heights Road, and the deeper volcanic soils allow for better balance and vigor than other parts of the site. The ’19 was used in the co-fermentation with Lewman, but we kept a 2.6 ton ferment separate, including 10% as whole cluster. Aged on lees in French Oak (one third new) for 15 months before spending a month in tank prior to bottling on January 20th, 2020.

    High-toned aromatic power, dusty red cherry, turned earth, sage, flower petal and warm spices in the nose. Juicy and bright entry fills immediately to mouth coating, supple tannins—the creamiest we have found in a Justice bottling. The finish is crisp and pure, the spiced fruits carrying the wine beautifully against perfectly balanced acidity.

    45 Cases Made

  • 2019 Black Walnut Vineyard Chardonnay

    Black Walnut Vineyard has been managed to the highest organic standards by Ryan Hannaford and his team since 2015, when the site and Inn of the same name changed hands from its original owners. The Chardonnay block hugs the Western tilt of the high elevation site, with the North/ South running rows the first thing visitors see as they emerge from the steep forested entry to the property off Worden Hill Road. A three acre block planted to three clones including 76, 95, and 70, in ’19 we only worked with the 76 and 95 which were picked and pressed together. Though Dundee Hills normally sees earlier bud burst than the Eola-Amity Hills, this 900 feet elevation block slows down considerably toward the transition to Fall, allowing for extra time on the vine while maintaining lovely balance of acidity.

    Whole cluster pressing was followed by 48 hours of settling before filling three total barrels with juice. Alcoholic and Malolactic both finished by early January, and the wines spent a total of 16 months in barrel. The blend came from an entire once fill and another half of an older barrel, the balance of the lot blended into our Willamette Valley cuvée. After a further month in stainless, we bottled on January 20th, 2021.

    Exuberant fruit characters— tangerine peel, honeysuckle, even a waxy note lead a powerful aromatic charge. The thrust and lift in the nose lead to more savory tones on the palate, with a glassy and suave texture coating from start to finish. Despite the detail and concentration of the fruit, the wine continues to push a saltiness toward the edges and the back, lending a more austere, spiced character against voluptuous fruit, ample weight and deft precision.

    40 Cases Made

  • 2018

  • 2018 First Man Vineyard Pinot noir

    The young block is included as whole clusters that we layer between de-stemming the old field blend of 667 and 777 clones. In general, the ferment saw less work than in years past, helping achieve higher temperatures in the whole bunches through keeping the cap undisturbed. The extraction feels just right, with the balance of the 18 version making it our favorite to date. The lovely raspberry tone that marks this site is well balanced by subtle barrel sweetness and the classic earthier elements we have come to expect from First Man. Aged on lees for almost 16 months in twice-filled French Oak barrels. Assembled in tank several days before bottling on January 24th, 2020. 13.2% Alcohol

    45 Cases Made

  • 2018 Polk County Cuvée

    This barrel selection represents an effort to produce a wine of superior power and elegance that best showcases the unique growing conditions in this viticultural area running North and South between McMinnville and Salem. Due East of the Van Duzer Corridor, the Eola-Amity Hills experience a more direct influence of Marine breezes, allowing for greater retention of natural acidity through more moderate temperatures during the growing season. 2018 blends vineyards from the Southern Eola Hills sites in Polk County including Sojeau (44%), Justice (40%), and Prophet (16%). The structure and spice of Justice is beautifully balanced by the perfumed aromatics of Prophet and the elegant silkiness, high-toned fruit and density of Sojeau.

    An earthier, savory element compliments the array of fresh fruit to produce a dynamic and powerful first impression. This blend is always a step toward textural completeness, the attack bringing well rounded tannins against puckery acids to create both grippy elements and mouthwatering juiciness. No lack of seriousness and detail, the wine invites serious consideration and quaffability simultaneously. The “grey label” has reached new heights in this bottling, with intensity of aromatics matched perfectly by the refinement of texture. Aged on lees for 16 months in a mix of new (15%) and used French Oak barrels. Blended to tank days before bottling on January 24th, 2020. 13.3% Alcohol.

    145 Cases Made

  • 2018 Willamette Valley Pinot noir

    Five vineyards bring the 2018 version to life, marking the first time this blend is more than two-thirds Eola-Amity Hills. The total mix is 90% EAH, with the own-rooted Sylvia’s (38%), Sojeau (formerly Sojourner) (30%) building the platform with smaller portions of Prophet (13%), and Justice (9%). First Man, the outlier to the North in the foothills near Gaston, completes the blend for the sixth year running (10%).

    Bursting aromatics of fresh orchard fruits, berries and flowers bring tremendous intensity, matched on the palate with juicy and vibrant tannins lending a crunchiness to the wine. Medium weight but well framed, the overall balance creates lovely tension before a marked savoriness extends the finish. Higher use of whole cluster in 2018 (approximately 20% on average) lifts the aromatic expression in this wine to new levels, with the firm tannins helping maintain a serious and “food positive” tone. Aged on lees in a combination of new (13%) and used French Oak barrels. Assembled in early December and bottled January 24th, 2020. 13.4% Alcohol.

    570 Cases Made

  • 2018 Justice Vineyard Pinot noir

    Justice Vineyard was planted by the Casteel Family of Bethel Heights Vineyard between 1999 and 2001, after more than 20 years of farming their adjacent vines using organic and certified sustainable methods. While it has been used in Estate Production for BH, certain parcels have been sold over the years to some of Oregon’s finest producers. Having known the Casteels since 2006 and looking out over the vineyard for several years making wine at Walter Scott (located on Justice Vineyard), it was without hesitation that I took the opportunity to work with this wonderful and dedicated family. Under the direction of Ted Casteel and their long time team (who also planted the vines and additionally farm Temperance Hill, Wren, and Logsdon Ridge Vineyards), Justice is managed to the highest standard, and by its nature has proven to be a low yielding vineyard for Pinot Noir. The wines have a distinctive structural tone, a sort of bold intensity that sets them apart.

    The furthest West side of Justice became available in 2018, this version coming exclusively from the 1.2 acre “DDW” block, the only wine produced from a single clone in the portfolio (777). The vines see some late day shading from the tree line along Bethel Heights Road, and the deeper volcanic soils allow for better balance and vigor than other parts of the site. A 3 ton fermentation with 20% whole cluster, the framework maintains the strength and power expected of the vineyard, with a gorgeous core of red fruit and spice that persists throughout. Less dense than the 17 version, but the textural and aromatic openness lends a more elegant and classic touch to this bottling. Aged on lees for 14 months in one new and three previously filled French Oak barrels. Assembled in tank six weeks before bottling on January 24th, 2020. 13.1% Alcohol.

    75 Cases Made

  • 2018 Sojeau Vineyard Pinot noir

    Formerly Sojourner, “the Wanderer”, Sojeau is Dennis and Thelma Peseau’s personal vineyard that crests a boulder strewn outcropping of Volcanic soil on the high Western flank of the Eola-Hills, leering down from 700 feet toward his former property Eola-Springs and the famed Van Duzer Corridor. Planted in 2007 to three clones of Pinot Noir, Violin sources rows from each of the sections of Dijon 115, Wadensville, and Pommard that co-ferment together. Sojeau has a unique balance of tannin and concentration, producing textures that approach supple, velvety, and seamless. The wines lean toward a red fruit profile, with an enticing aromatic quality that is unmistakably Pinot Noir, but on the classic side of the scale.

    2018 Sojeau was blended from two fermentation lots—one 100% de-stemmed (one barrel) and one 20% whole cluster (three barrels). The wide range of berry fruits are well balanced by a mineral sense, an almost shell-like saltiness that helps create such a distinctive, inviting aromatic tone. A gorgeous curve defines the feel from start to finish, with fine-grained, dense tannins producing a textural elegance that is simply unmatched in the cellar. Aged on lees for 14 months in one new and three previously filled French Oak barrels. Assembled as a cuvée in early December and bottled January 24th, 2020. 13.4% Alcohol.

    95 Cases Made

  • 2018 Willamette Valley Chardonnay

    The two inaugural bottlings of Chardonnay for Violin come exclusively from James and Andrea Frey’s Coast Range Estate, one of three vineyards the couple own and farm for their Trisaetum brand. Technically the Southern border of the Yamhill-Carlton District, this site is more similar to McMinnville AVA; planted on the oldest volcanic soils in our valley (Siletz series), which have proven to ripen grapes while maintaining incredibly high natural acidity, (so much so that James uses most of his Chardonnay and Pinot to produce Methode Champenoise). I source half of each of the three total blocks, one of which a mix of 95 and 548 clones, one a sliver of 108 clone, and the bottom, steepest block of 76 clone. The opportunity for clonal diversity was a big part of the reason I was excited to work with the fruit, with the three blocks picked together on September 26th. Whole cluster pressing, including direct juice to barrel transfer for two barrels, was followed by a 48 hour settling before filling the other five. The barrels fermented for up to ten months before completion of Malolactic, and were racked to tank with their lees in mid September, 2019. After four months in Stainless and natural cold stabilization (outside by Mother Nature), they underwent gentle filtration prior to bottling on January 24th, 2020.

    From 4.5 of the seven barrels, zero new. Subtle aromatics with complexing edge of green, pineapple, mango, and more “cool” fruit tones. Saline and lime peel on entry, with salty characters adding a touch of savory to the extremely taught acid backbone. Far from a fat version of Chardonnay, the intensity of acid will give longevity and verve to this bottling as time goes by, allowing it to gain weight and fruit intensity gracefully. “Spine before flesh” as a producer I admire has eloquently stated of his own bottlings, and a quote I think applies well here. 12.8% Alcohol.

    110 Cases Made

  • 2018 Coast Range Vineyard Chardonnay

    From 2.5 of the seven barrels, 30% new oak. This cuvée was built around the new barrel which was drawn directly from the press with no settling. Two other barrels completed the blend before blending some back to the Willamette bottling. Expansive in both aroma and texture, a lovely dose of tangerine/orange peel couples with lemon, pineapple, and flower blossoms in the nose, with a more complete texture and rounder edges than the WV. The overall balance of the wine hits another level altogether, but maintains the taught structure and austere makeup of a wine destined for positive aging. 12.8% Alcohol

    55 Cases Made

  • 2017

  • 2017 Willamette Valley

    For the first time this blend includes fruit from six different vineyard sites.  The majority of fruit is still Eola-Amity Hills, from Sylvia Sproed (33%), Sojourner (18%), Prophet (14%), and Justice (5%).  Sunny Mountain in the Southern Willamette played its role for the fifth year (18%), and First Man, the Coast Range site near Gaston brings the balance (12%). 

    Subtle and detailed, the fruit character is extremely fresh but not overwhelming, leading toward flowers and spices after just-ripe berries.  The attack brings firm tannins to frame the medium weight, with mild and juicy acidity giving energy and drive to the palate.  The finish provides tension with savory tones playing against bright, extremely fresh primary fruits, and a powerful tannin backbone lending a serious and elegant persistence.  Aged on lees in a combination of new (14%) and used French Oak barrels.  Assembled as a cuvée in early December and bottled January 25th, 2019.  13.4% Alcohol. 

    550 Cases Made

  • 2017 Sojourner Vineyard

    Sojourner, “the Wanderer”, is Dennis and Thelma Peseau’s personal vineyard that crests a boulder strewn outcropping of Volcanic soil on the high Western flank of the Eola-Hills, leering down from 700 feet toward his former property Eola-Springs and the famed Van Duzer Corridor.  Planted in 2007 to three clones of Pinot Noir, Violin sources rows from each of the sections of Dijon 115, Wadensville, and Pommard that co-ferment together.  “Sojo”, as we lovingly reference, has a unique balance of tannin and concentration, producing textures that approach supple, velvety, and seamless.  The wines lean toward a red fruit profile, with an enticing aromatic quality that is unmistakably Pinot Noir, but on the classic side of the scale. 

    2017 Sojo brings incredible freshness and power in the glass.  The consistent red berry fruits meet the nervy, mineral edges from whole cluster, spicy tones that lend broad complexity to the flavor and aroma profile.  A gorgeous curve defines the feel; from start to finish it has the balance of acidity and tannin that create a framework for silkiness without losing the grip to extend dramatic, haunting length on the finish.  Simply elegant.  Aged on lees for 14 months in one new, two twice-filled and one three-filled French Oak barrels.  Assembled as a cuvée in early December and bottled January 25th, 2019.  13.7% Alcohol.

    95 Cases Made

  • 2017 Justice Vineyard

    Justice Vineyard was planted by the Casteel Family of Bethel Heights Vineyard between 1999 and 2001, after more than 20 years of farming their adjacent vines using organic and certified sustainable methods.  While it has been used in Estate Production for BH, certain parcels have been sold over the years to some of Oregon’s finest producers.  Having known the Casteels since 2006 and looking out over the vineyard for several years making wine at Walter Scott (located on Justice Vineyard), it was without hesitation that I took the opportunity to work with this wonderful and dedicated family.  Under the direction of Ted and Mimi Casteel and their long time team (who also planted the vines and additionally farm Temperance Hill, Wren, and Logsdon Ridge Vineyards), Justice is managed to the highest standard, and by its nature has proven to be a low yielding vineyard for Pinot Noir.  The wines have a distinctive structural tone, a sort of bold intensity that sets them apart.

    The ’17 addition comes from 7 short rows at the furthest South block of the site known as the Delta Block (for its triangular shape), and an additional 25% from a younger block of 777 in the middle of the site.  Delta Block sits on marine sedimentary soil and lacks the vigor of other parts of the vineyard, resulting in exceptionally low yields and small clusters.  The ferment was slow and steady, resulting in deep extraction of color and tannin, lending a serious and powerful quality to the wine.  Darker fruit tones with loads of violets, saline and sage, the core is packed tight across the palate and finishes with noticeable grip.  Age will do wonders for this bottling, but the strength of the framework is already quite pleasing and represents a more structure-evident side of the Pinot spectrum.  Aged on lees for almost 16 months in one once-filled and one twice-filled French Oak barrels.  Assembled in tank days before bottling on January 25th, 2019.  13.6% Alcohol. 

    45 Cases Made

  • 2017 Polk County Cuvée

    This barrel selection represents an effort to produce a wine of superior power and elegance that best showcases the unique growing conditions in this viticultural area running North and South between McMinnville and Salem.  Due East of the Van Duzer Corridor, the Eola-Amity Hills experience a more direct influence of Marine breezes, allowing for greater retention of natural acidity through more moderate temperatures during the growing season.  2017 blends vineyards from the Southern Eola Hills sites in Polk County including Sojourner (45%), Justice (35%), and Prophet (25%).   The robust structure and concentration of Justice is beautifully balanced by the perfumed aromatics of Prophet and the elegant silkiness and high-toned fruit of Sojourner.  

    The nose echos the vintage characters of fresh, bright fruit, juxtaposed against powerful floral tones and spices.  The noticeable vibrancy invites significant consideration.  On the palate the wine attacks with firm and juicy tannins carrying the full array of berry fruits and more savory, earthier components with verve and energy.  The overall balance here is appropriately delicate and detailed with a glassy, pure and clean texture matching the intensity and weight beautifully.  Immediately delicious, the anticipation of several years of bottle age makes me wonder the height of refinement we can eventually expect from this one.  Aged on lees for 14 months in a mix of new (25%) and used French Oak barrels.  Blended to tank in early December and bottled on January 25th, 2019.

    95 Cases Made

  • 2017 First Man Vineyard

    “First Man” is the playful name I use to describe the incredible and dedicated effort of my longtime friend and colleague Adam Radtke.  His 1900 vine vineyard totals just under one acre in two distinct blocks surrounded by a mature apple orchard and forest above, benefitting from organic farming inputs since day one—-applied personally and minimally by Adam, who also gathered the plant material, grafted by hand to rootstock, and slowly planted over the course of four years beginning in 2006.  To say this is personal project would be understatement, but each year since 2013 we have produced distinctive Pinot Noirs from this Coast Range site West of Gaston in the North Willamette.  2017 is the first year we have gone commercial with this new label, having previously blended the several barrels into the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.  We pressed and fermented the lower field to produce Rosé (sold out by May of ’18), and the oldest and youngest blocks we pick a week earlier to produce the still Pinot Noir, a field blend of clones 667 and 777.  

    The young block produces very tiny clusters, which we don’t de-stem, making the lot around 45% whole cluster, the highest of any Pinot Noir in 2017.  The goal was to bring more lifted fruit into the mix, as First Man normally displays a gentle tannin profile, muddled raspberry and darker fruit, and always a savory tea leaf or menthol tone.  The success of this experiment led me to decide on bottling the cuvée separately for the first time.  The low alcohol balances the density of the wine quite well, and the lifted aromatics help bring intrigue and extra power into this gentle, subtle beauty.  Aged on lees for almost 16 months in twice-filled French Oak barrels.  Assembled in tank several days before bottling on January 25th, 2019.  12.7% Alcohol.

    45 Cases Made

  • 2016

  • 2016 Willamette Valley

    A blend of four vineyards, with two-thirds of the total barrels coming from the Eola-Amity Hills AVA sites Sojourner (32%) on the Western ridge, and Sylvia Sproed Vineyard (42%) planted on the far Northeastern finger.  First Man Vineyard, just Northwest of the town of Gaston in the Coast Range Foothills (15%), and Sunny Mountain, just South of Monroe in the Southern Willamette Valley (18%), make up the balance.  The distinctive qualities of the individual sites bring exciting blending potential to this cuveé every year, which represents roughly half of the total production for Violin.

    Extremely aromatic with vibrant fruit bursting out of the glass, 2016 shows some of the darker side of the spectrum, with dark cherry and blueberries joining more classic red fruits, floral tones, and sweet spices.  The entry starts juicy and mouthwatering, leading to a fresh and lively fruit character on the palate.  The tannins are noticeably creamy and support a velvety structure with finely balanced acidity,  carrying the wine beautifully toward a lengthy, precise, and savory finish.  Aged on lees in a combination of new (10%) and used French Oak barrels.  Assembled as a cuvée in late December and bottled January 23rd, 2018.  13.6% Alcohol.  

    280 Cases Made

  • 2016 Eola-Amity Hills

    This barrel selection achieves superior power and elegance to showcase the unique growing conditions in this viticultural area running North and South between McMinnville and Salem.  Due East of the Van Duzer Corridor, the Eola-Amity Hills experience more dramatic Marine weather, allowing for greater retention of natural acidity through cooler nighttime temperatures during the growing season.  A four barrel blend of 50% Sojourner and 50% Sylvia Sproed Vineyard, the juicy red fruits and lip smacking, savory textures are Pinot Noir at its most delicious expression.

    Bing Cherry, Raspberry, cola and sage, with a precision and drive that keeps bursting out of the glass.  The palate weight is refreshingly medium bodied considering the power of the nose and juiciness of fruit characters.  Some salinity and density coming from both lots having 15% as Whole Cluster, adding a subtle creaminess and carbonic pop of fruit.  The purity and subtlety of tones continues across the palate, with a growing intensity to match the refined textures and tightly wound core.  Aged on lees for just over 14 months in new (25%) and used French Oak barrels.  Assembled in late December before bottling on January 22rd, 2018.  13.4% Alcohol.

    95 Cases Made

  • 2016 Sunny Mountain Vineyard

    This unique, 11 acre vineyard sits between 650 and 800 feet on Rattlesnake Ridge just South of the town of Monroe, in the Southern portion of the Willamette Valley.  Violin sources only the 828 block on Sunny Mountain; the highest, most windblown upper rows in the vineyard.  Despite the slightly drier climate, these large clusters tend to ripen late as a result of the relatively high elevation and the nature of the clone to develop fruit at a slower pace, producing intense aromatic expression and high concentration of tannin.

    The core here is intense fruit, with dark cherry and a carbonic-like, high-toned edge of blackberries, spices and earth.  The power of the wine is striking, with a puckery attack softening into the broad, friendly tannins that mark the tone of Sunny Mountain Pinots.  The viscosity here is noticeable, but with less weight and more open texture than previous versions.  The lasting impression reminds of a wine made with significant amounts of whole cluster, but as in previous years, this lot is 100% destemmed and sees only gentle fermentation management.   Aged on lees for just over 14 months in once and twice-filled French Oak barrels.  Assembled in tank in late December and bottled January 23rd, 2018.  13.8% Alcohol.  

    45 Cases Made

  • 2016 Sojourner Vineyard

    Sojourner, “the wanderer”, is Dennis and Thelma Peseau’s personal vineyard that crests a boulder strewn outcropping of Volcanic soil on the high Western flank of the Eola-Hills, leering down at 700 feet toward his former property Eola-Springs and the famed Van Duzer Corridor.  Planted in 2007 to three clones of Pinot Noir, Violin sources rows from each of the sections of Dijon 115, Wadensville, and Pommard that end up co-fermented together.  “Sojo”, as we lovingly reference, has a unique balance of tannin and concentration that has been more consistent than most vineyards, and remarkably so considering its relative youth.  The wines lean toward a red fruit profile, with an enticing aromatic quality that is unmistakably Pinot Noir, and on the classic side of the scale.  “Sojourner wants to sing” as Dennis likes to say, and being in the band is an honor.  This site makes me optimistic about the future of Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley, and creates wines of extreme balance and intrigue.

    Intoxicatingly sexy nose, with strawberries and cream mixing with a lovely background floral and smoky edge.  The maturity of the fruit tones is matched by its purity and refinement, leading to layer on layer of fresh and lively fruit .  The wine starts juicy but mellows into a truly silken texture, with framing but well integrated tannins keeping the curve of the mouthfeel seamlessly  unblemished.  A lovely tension between savoriness and fruit lingers, perfectly balancing the elements of creamy and crisp. Aged on lees for just over 14 months in one new, one twice-filled and one three-filled French Oak barrels.  Assembled as a cuvée in late December and bottled January 23rd, 2018.  13.4% Alcohol.  

    70 Cases Made

  • 2015

  • 2015 Willamette Valley

    A blend of five vineyards, three in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA including Eola Springs (17%) and Sojourner (7%) on the Western ridge, and Sylvia Sproed Vineyard (17%) planted on the far Northeastern finger.  First Man Vineyard, just Northwest of the town of Gaston in the Coast Range Foothills (17%), and Sunny Mountain, just South of Monroe in the Southern Willamette Valley (17%), make up the balance.  The diverse and distinctive qualities of the individual sites bring exciting blending potential to this cuveé every year, which represents roughly half of the total production for Violin.

     Tightly wound with layers of fresh cut fruit and spice in the nose.  The fruit quality is distinctly red, with strawberry, pomegranate and ripe cherry complimenting an earthier side that seems more brambly and floral.   The attack offers ample sweetness of fruit to balance the firm tannin structure that frames the wine throughout.  Medium in weight, the palate turns increasingly savory as it extends with well balanced, mouthwatering acidity .  Aged on lees for just over 14 months in a mix of new (20%) and used French Oak barrels.  Assembled as a cuvée in late December and bottled February 16th, 2017.  13.2% Alcohol.

    280 Cases Made

  • 2015 Eola-Amity Hills

    This barrel selection represents an effort to produce a wine of superior power and elegance that best showcases the unique growing conditions in this viticultural area running North and South between McMinnville and Salem.  Due East of the Van Duzer Corridor, the Eola-Amity Hills experience a more direct influence of Marine breezes, allowing for greater retention of natural acidity through cooler nighttime temperatures during the growing season.  A six barrel blend of 50% Eola Springs Vineyard, 28% Clos des Oiseaux Vineyard, and 22% Sylvia Sproed Vineyard, the wine strikes an intriguing balance between tension and generosity. 

    Floral perfume, powerful red fruits, earth tones and an edge of smokey spice offer a wide range of aromas.  Juicy on entry with high acidity well restrained by ripe, powerful tannins and layers of savory spices, fresh berries, plums and cherries.  Eola Springs was a co-fermentation of three blocks in 2015, including the oldest, own rooted St. Augustine block.  The depth of flavor and tannin is noticeable as a result, bringing a nervy intensity to a wine that finishes long, delicate and supple.  Aged on lees for just over 14 months in new (20%) and used French Oak barrels.  Assembled in late December before bottling on February 16th, 2017.  13.2% Alcohol.

    145 Cases Made

  • 2015 Sunny Mountain Vineyard

    This unique, 11 acre vineyard sits between 650 and 800 feet just South of the town of Monroe, in the Southern portion of the Willamette Valley.  Violin sources only the 828 block on Sunny Mountain; the highest, most windblown upper rows in the vineyard.  Despite the slightly drier climate, these large clusters tend to ripen late as a result of the relatively high elevation and the nature of the clone to develop fruit at a slower pace, producing intense aromatic expression and high concentration of tannin.

    Classic aromas of high-toned cherry with subtle oak,  dry earth and herbs underneath .  The entry fills out gently with silky, mouth-coating tannins that always accompany Sunny Mountain wines, marking the texture with elegance and richness.   The purity of fruit continues with leathery tones and earthy spices providing balance and complexity as the wine unravels.  Aged on lees for just over 14 months in once and twice-filled French Oak barrels.  Assembled in tank in late December and bottled on February 16, 2017.  13.1% Alcohol.

    45 Cases Made

  • 2015 Clos des Oiseaux Vineyard

    Clos des Oiseaux is the name given to this small, 2.8 acre site adjacent to Cristom Vineyards’ Jesse Block on Spring Valley Road in the Eola-Amity Hills.  Leased since 2011  by Walter Scott Wines, the site is farmed 100% organically and benefits from deep, rocky volcanic soils and superior attention to viticultural detail.  Surrounded on its lower section by a commanding oak grove, “Clos” is virtually hidden from normal view, and consists of Pommard Clone at the bottom, 114 in the middle, and more exposed 115 at its upper point on the very steep, East facing hillside.  Ken and Erica, my  winery hosts and friends at Walter Scott, have offered me part of their crop from these carefully managed vines,  and the distinctive character of the site translates what I love about Eola-Amity Hills in the language of delicious wine.  The supple concentration and purity of wines from Clos make them complex, savory, and layered in a way that few sites produce.

    Noticeably earthy with wild, powerful fruit aromas bursting out of the glass.  The character is persistently red with rhubarb and ripe strawberry extending onto the palate.  The attack offers puckery acidity against more supple tannins that broaden the wine just enough, with layers of ripe raspberry, cola, vanilla and baking spice continuing to coat the mouth.  Supreme length.   The three clones were fermented together with the 115 portion included as whole clusters (20%).  Aged on lees for just over 14 months in one new and two twice-filled French Oak barrels.  Assembled as a cuvée in late December and bottled February 16th, 2017. 

    70 Cases Made

  • 2014

  • 2014 Willamette Valley

    A blend of four vineyards including: Eola Springs Vineyard on the Western slope of the Eola-Amity Hills (25%), Methven Family Vineyard on the Eastern slope of the Eola-Amity Hills (35%),  First Man Vineyard just Northwest of the town of Gaston in the Coast Range Foothills (25%), and Sunny Mountain Vineyard just South of Monroe in the Southern Willamette Valley between Eugene and Corvallis (15%).

    Dark fruit and smokey spice lead to more subtle aromas of herbs and flower petals as the wine opens. A generous attack of juicy dark cherry and Marionberry spreads across the palate with lively acidity. Firm tannins offer noticeable grip as the wine extends toward a long finish, with more spice and savory tones joining the wide array of dense and powerful fruit flavors present throughout. Aged on lees for just over 14 months in a mix of new (20%) and used French Oak barrels.  Assembled as a cuvée in late December and bottled January 20th, 2016. 13.5% Alcohol.

    320 Cases Made

  • 2014 Eola-Amity Hills

    This barrel selection represents an effort to produce a wine of superior power and elegance that best showcases the unique growing conditions in this viticultural area running North and South between McMinnville and Salem.  Due East of the Van Duzer Corridor, the Eola-Amity Hills experience a more direct influence of Marine breezes, allowing for greater retention of natural acidity through cooler nighttime temperatures during the growing season.  A careful blend of 45% Eola Springs Vineyard, 30% Clos des Oiseaux Vineyard, and 25% Methven Family Vineyard, the wine strikes an intriguing balance between tension and generosity. 

    Floral perfume, red and black fruits, earth tones and an edge of asian spice offer a wide range of aromas.  Juicy on entry but filling out quickly, with high acidity well restrained by ripe, powerful tannins and layers of savory spices, fresh berries, plums and cherries.  Tightly wound with tar, fruit, flowers and savoriness all trading places at the forefront of the powerful core, leading to a complex finish that comes together with firm structural tannins, mouthwatering acidity, and ample concentration.  Aged on lees for 15 months in new (20%) and used French Oak barrels.  Assembled several days before bottling on January 20th, 2016.  13.5% Alcohol. 

    120 Cases Made

  • 2014 Sunny Mountain Vineyard

    This unique, 11 acre vineyard sits between 650 and 800 feet on Rattlesnake Ridge just South of the town of Monroe, in the Southern portion of the Willamette Valley.  The wine is made exclusively from the 828 clone of Pinot Noir and is the highest block of the vineyard.  Despite the slightly warmer climate, this block tends to ripen late as a result of the relatively high elevation and the nature of the clone to develop fruit at a slower pace, allowing for intense aromatic expression and high concentration of tannin.

    Powerful aromas of flowers and fresh, nearly tropical fruit jump out of the glass right away, leading to more classic cherry and pomegranate tones as the wine unravels.  The entry fills out immediately, with mouthwatering acidity coated by the rich tannins that always accompany Sunny Mountain wines, marking the texture with elegant viscosity.   The purity of fruit continues with subtle, earthy spices providing balance and complexity as the wine lingers harmoniously on a clean and delicate finish.  Aged on lees for 15 months in twice-filled French Oak barrels.  Assembled in tank several days before bottling on January 20th, 2016.  13.9% Alcohol. 

    70 Cases Made

  • 2014 Clos des Oiseaux Vineyard

    Clos des Oiseaux is the name given to this small, 2.8 acre site adjacent to Cristom Vineyards on Spring Valley Road in the Eola-Amity Hills.  Owned by the Keller family and leased and managed by Walter Scott Wines, the site is 100% organically farmed and benefits from deep, rocky volcanic soils and superior attention to viticultural detail.  The vineyard is surrounded by an oak grove, making it virtually hidden from normal view, and consists of Pommard Clone at the bottom, 114 in the middle, and more exposed 115 at its upper point on the very steep, East facing hillside.  Ken and Erica, my noble winery hosts and friends at Walter Scott, have generously offered me part of their crop from these carefully managed vines,  and the distinctive character of the site translates what I love about Eola-Amity Hills in the language of delicious wine.  

    Noticeably earthy, flinty, and savory in the nose, with mild sweetness of fruit and a rustic spiced quality.  The fruit character is persistently red throughout with subtle, fresh cut cherries and strawberries.  The attack is gentle but rich, with supple tannins providing exceptional roundness and volume on the palate.  As the wine evolves with layers of ripe raspberry and cherry, sweet vanilla and baking spice mingle with earthy rhubarb while the tannins continue to coat the mouth, providing ample texture to support the ongoing array of fruit, earth, and moderate acidity.  The three clones were fermented together with the 115 portion included as whole clusters (20%).  Aged on lees for just over 14 months in one new and two twice-filled French Oak barrels.  Assembled as a cuvée in late December and bottled January 20th, 2016.  13.3% Alcohol.

    70 Cases Made

  • 2013

  • 2013 Willamette Valley

    A blend from all five of the vineyard sources including: Eola Springs Vineyard on the western slope of the Eola-Amity Hills (20%), Methven Family Vineyard on the Eastern slope of the Eola- Amity Hills (35%), Solena Estate just east of the town of Yamhill in the Yamhill-Carlton District (30%), First Man Vineyard just Northwest of the town of Gaston in the Patton Valley (7%), and Sunny Mountain Vineyard just South of Monroe between Corvallis and Eugene. (8%).

    Loads of spice and forest floor mingle with strawberry, darker berry fruits and floral tones in the nose. Juicy on entry with ample weight and structure to balance mouthwatering acidity. Firm tannins and savory sweet spice carry the wine to a long, lingering finish with red and black fruits present throughout. Aged on lees for approximately 14 months in 100% French oak barrels, 25% new. Assembled as a cuvee in mid-December, 2014, and bottled January 23rd, 2015. 

    350 Cases Made

  • 2013 Eola-Amity Hills

    An effort to produce a wine of intense power and perfume that highlights the best characteristics of this AVA in the North Willamette Valley. The moderating impact of marine breezes is a result of its vicinity to the Van Duzer Corridor, the low point in the Coast Range that funnels weather from the Ocean, providing superior acid retention and consistency in the quality and maturity of fruit.

    This three barrel selection consists of two barrels from Eola Springs Vineyard and one barrel from Methven Family Vineyard. Floral perfume and dark berry fruits come out of the glass first with smokey spice and strawberry coursing underneath. Mouthwatering, juicy attack with fantastic concentration and dark cherry flavors coating the palate. Finish turns a bit more savory with oak spice, wild brambly fruits and earth mixing well. Firm, structural tannins persist throughout, and give the wine great poise and nerve on the lengthy, fruit driven finish. Aged on lees for 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. Assembled several days before bottling on January 23rd, 2015. 

    70 Cases Made

  • 2013 Sunny Mountain Vineyard

    This unique, 11 acre vineyard sits between 650 and 800 feet on Rattlesnake Ridge just South of the town of Monroe Oregon, in the Southern portion of the Willamette Valley. The wine is made exclusively from the 828 clone of Pinot Noir and is the highest block of the vineyard. Despite the slightly warmer climate in Monroe, this block tends to ripen late as a result of the relatively high elevation and the nature of the clone to develop fruit at a slower pace, allowing for intense aromatic expression and high concentration of tannin.

    High-toned cherry and an edge of barrel sweetness produce very powerful aromas in the glass, leading to more earthy tones of rhubarb, licorice and delicate herbal notes. The entry is a surprise as the wine broadens considerably across the palate, showcasing mouth-coating ripe tannins and ample acidity. The red-fruited character persists with floral and herb tones carrying the wine through a long, elegant finish. Aged on lees for approximately 14 months in 100% French oak barrels, 15% new. Assembled in mid-December, 2014, and bottled January 23rd, 2015. 

    70 Cases Made

Vineyards

  • First Man Vineyard

    Willamette Valley AVA

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    “First Man” is the name I use for Adam Radtke’s personally developed and farmed vineyard in the Coastal Range Foothills a few miles West of the small town of Gaston in the Northern Willamette Valley.

    This sub valley of the greater Willamette is a marginally cool area, and tends to ripen slower than many of its neighbors to the South and East. His property is a 19 acre ridge sloping gradually to the South and East, with forest at the top and vines near the bottom in two distinct blocks totaling just under an acre. Although just North of the border for the Yamhill-Carlton District AVA, he shares the ancient marine sedimentary soils that classify this growing region, producing relatively small clusters yielding earth-driven, savory wines.

    Adam and I worked together managing the production of Laurent Montalieu’s NW Wine Company for over four years, during which time he was using cuttings from Laurent’s Solena Estate to graft and develop baby plants for his farm. All of the work was hand done by Adam over the course of five years.

    The first fifteen rows are a split between Dijon Clones 667 and 777, planted in 2006. The lower field is a blend of 828 and Pommard Clones, which ripens about ten days later. The youngest block is on a steep South slope planted in 2010, and is 100% 777. I use the 2006 planting and the 2010 for still Pinot, and since 2017 we have used the lower field of 790 total plants to press juice for a lightly copper-hued Rosé. Fermented in stainless drums and one neutral barrel, we try to capture the pretty side of the aromatic spectrum of Pinot with the freshness and gentle touch of still blanc de noir.

    In total, we normally yield four barrels of Pinot from our ferment every year, and around 70 cases worth of Rosé. Since 2017 we have bottled a "First Man" labeled wine for both the still Pinot noir and the Rosé of Pinot noir. The balance of the Pinot functions as the earthier, more gentle element in the Willamette Valley Cuveé, averaging between 8% and 30% of the volume depending on the year.

    Img 8118
    With Adam on Pick day 2014...Olin's seventh Birthday!
  • Sojeau Vineyard (Sojourner)

    Eola-Amity Hills AVA

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    Sojeau Vineyard (formally Sojourner “the wanderer”), is Dennis and Thelma Peseau’s personal vineyard that crests a boulder strewn outcropping of rocky Volcanic soil on the high Western flank of the Southern Eola-Hills, leering down from 700 feet toward his former property Eola-Springs and the famed Van Duzer Corridor. Planted in 2007 to three clones of Pinot Noir, Violin sources rows from each of the blocks of Dijon 115, Wadensville, and Pommard that end up co-fermented together. “Sojo”, as we lovingly reference, has a unique tension between tannin and concentration that has been highly consistent considering its relative youth-- the seamless mouthfeel creating a textural elegance rarely captured in "New World" Pinot Noir . The wines lean toward a red fruit profile, with an enticing aromatic quality with spicy red fruits, flowers, and an earth-driven edge. “Sojourner wants to sing” as Dennis likes to say, and being in the band is both an honor and a privilege. This site makes me optimistic about the future of Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley, and creates wines of extreme balance and intrigue.

    Sojourner had a small role in the 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, and became my largest holding in 2016, when it was also bottled as a vineyard designate for the first time. It will support the production of Violin Pinots for many years to come.

    2022 08 Hamilton Family High Res 9871
    View West from Upper Rows
  • Sylvia Sproed Vineyard

    Eola-Amity Hills AVA

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    Sylvia Sproed is the eponymous vineyard of Doctor and Mrs. Sproed, on the Northernmost ridge of the East side of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, a few miles north of the tiny hamlet of Hopewell. The vineyard was resurrected and is now farmed by my friends at St. Joseph’s Nursery in McMinnville, who manage and farm several vineyards in the Willamette Valley for other winemakers and their own sister company Walnut City Wineworks and Lundeen Wines.

    A small, once acre block of Dijon 115 sits on the crest of the steep, Eastern Slope, and the four acre block of Pommard runs down the ridge forming a noticeable point to the Southeast, seeming like a vertical wall of vines catching every ray of early morning light over the Cascade Mountains. Unusually, the vines of Pommard are own-rooted, but still tend to ripen very early. I am able to source the short rows in the transition between the crest of the slope and the steep wall of vines below, beginning in 2015.

    The soil here is a classic example of volcanic basalt-based clay with intermittent small boulders. For me, these types of soils in the mid slopes of the Eola-Amity Hills produce the most compelling wines. The mid palate weight always feels more plush and layered, while the acidity tends to focus the wines toward the red-fruited side of the spectrum. This is an extremely exposed site for Pinot Noir, and picking early has been necessary but led to vibrant wines with plenty of acidity and intense fruit characters to support the generous textures. “Sylvia Sproed” anchors the Willamette Valley Cuveé and plays an important role in the flagship Eola-Amity Hills bottling as well.

    Img 0940
    Sunrise over Mt. Hood from Sylvia's
  • Justice Vineyard

    Eola-Amity Hills AVA

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    Justice Vineyard was planted by the Casteel Family of Bethel Heights Vineyard between 1999 and 2001, after more than 20 years of farming their adjacent vines using organic and certified sustainable methods. While it has been used in Estate Production for BH, certain parcels have been sold over the years to some of Oregon’s finest producers. Having known the Casteels since 2006 and looking out over the vineyard for several years making wine at Walter Scott (located on Justice Vineyard), it was without hesitation that I took the opportunity to work with this wonderful and dedicated family. Under the direction of Ted Casteel and their long time team (who also planted the vines and additionally farm Temperance Hill, Wren, and Logsdon Ridge Vineyards), Justice is managed to the highest standard, and by its nature has proven to be a low yielding vineyard for Pinot Noir. The wines have a distinctive structural tone, a sort of bold intensity that sets them apart.

    Img 8188
    View East over Justice and Bethel Heights Estate
  • Koosah Farm

    Eola-Amity Hills AVA

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    (pronounced KOO-saw and meaning “Heavenly Sky” in the native Chinook language). Kevin and Carla Chambers' last project as grape growers in the Willamette Valley, begun on this rocky cap of the Eola-Amity Hills in 2016, with the first harvest of several blocks in 2019. Most of the site tilts to the East and South down very rocky, steep terrain, but we source the Western 2 acres of massale selection Dijon Clones in a protected pocket that seems to capture heat on summer evenings--A block I believe to the be the highest elevation producing Pinot noir in the AVA at nearly '1050 at the top. Since 2019 we've used the pinots in our Willamette Valley blends, with our first vineyard designate example in 2021 coinciding with the last vintage the Chambers family were involved. A big nod to Stirling Fox and his longtime team for exceptional work in both planting and farming along Kevin, Carla, and their son Nate-- bringing this Windy extreme to life through highly distinctive wines.

    IMG 6883
  • Sunny Mountain Vineyard

    Willamette Valley AVA

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    Sunny Mountain Vineyard was planted just South of Monroe by industry veteran Steve Price in 2006, and he has farmed and managed the vineyard personally since. With only ten acres planted and at the dead end of a windy gravel road at the top of a steep, SouthEast facing slope on Rattlesnake Ridge, the vineyard is hidden from normal view and benefits from consistent breezes, plenty of sunshine, and superior viticulture.

    The area around Monroe is considered a rain shadow from the tallest peak in the Coast Range Mountains, Mary’s Peak. Hence the name, the sun tends to shine on this area when rains fall on vineyards further north. Like many sites in the area, Sunny Mountain is almost exclusively on Bellpine soils which are ancient marine sediment based.

    I source the top rows of the current planting at 800 feet in elevation; exclusively the 828 clone of Pinot Noir. Despite the slightly warmer climate, this block tends to ripen late as a result of the relatively high elevation and the nature of the clone to develop fruit at a slower pace, allowing for intense aromatic expression and high concentration of tannin. Steve normally thins the crop to one cluster per shoot, increasing the concentration and power in the resultant wines.

    Working with Steve is an education, and I hope to coax Sunny Mountain toward a more elegant expression of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. I produce between 2 and 3 barrels of vineyard designate Pinot Noir, and use a small portion as a component in the Willamette Valley bottling, contributing high-toned fruit, and wonderfully broad, mouth coating tannins.

    Img 2404
    View East from the top of Sunny Mountain