Violin Wine

Welcome

Walter Scott X Novo 73

Thanks for your virtual visit to Violin Wine! 

2018 marked my sixth harvest for the brand and an expansion into Chardonnay in addition to another slight increase in Pinot Noir production, where balance and elegance build the framework to express the nuance of individual vineyards, regional character, and vintage variation.  The majority of my fruit grows in several Eola-Amity Hills sites, the AVA I continue to believe offers the most moderate conditions for grape growing in the North Willamette Valley, bringing energy and freshness to the wines in a distinctive, captivating and delicious way.

You can read about the current release wines below, as well as look through the catalogue of sold out cuvées.  Feel free to click on the link to purchase wines if you are 21 or older (shipping available to most US States), or email me personally to learn about options and availability.

My favorite way to introduce wine lovers to my work is by hosting personal, relaxed tastings at the winery.  If you want to set up an appointment, please email me or feel free to give me a call.  My contact information is at the bottom of the website.  Sign up for the mailing list if you want to hear about new releases, public pouring events, and have the first opportunity to purchase these limited production wines.

Looking to stay in wine country?  Check out Little O's Cottage on my property near Historic Downtown McMinnville.  Click the link or just reach out directly.  I manage the property and help guests navigate wine country travels.

Little O's Cottage

I appreciate the support of so many who have made the first five years successful.  My enthusiasm, passion, and determination keeps growing for crafting elegant, cool-climate wine, and I believe the Willamette Valley offers us an incredible chance every growing season.

Cheers!


-Will Hamilton

Owner, Vintner, Vendor

Photography by Easton Richmond

 

The Wines

Purchase

Current Releases

  • 2016 Eola-Amity Hills [label]

    2016 Eola-Amity Hills

    $40

    Four Barrel Selection, half Sylvia's and half Sojourner---East Side/West Side.  A nervy edge cuts through the wine, offering savoriness and structure to balance opulent fruit.

    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

  • 2017 Willamette Valley [label]

    2017 Willamette Valley

    $25

    Six Vineyards, two-thirds Eola Hills.  Fresh, firm, and precise.  Lovely balance between fruit and savoriness. 

    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 [label]

    2017 Sojourner Vineyard

    $55

    High elevation, rocky volcanic soils in the Southern Eola-Amity Hills.  Silken and velvety curve with powerful aromatics and striking elegance.

    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 First Man Vineyard [label]

    2017 First Man Vineyard

    $36

    Adam Radtke's 1900 vine vineyard, the monopole of the lineup.  High toned carbonic pop, delicate tannins and classic purity of fruit.

    “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

Past Releases

  • 2014 Eola-Amity Hills [label]

    2014 Eola-Amity Hills

    The flagship bottling, a five barrel selection from three sites in the Eola-Amity Hills.  Power, concentration, refinement.  Wound together tightly and built to age.

    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

  • 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir [label]

    2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

    A gorgeous reflection of the vintage...12 barrel blend from five sites.  Red Fruits, savory undertones, and firm but mouthwatering structure 

    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 Sunny Mountain Vineyard [label]

    2015 Sunny Mountain Vineyard

    Generous and mouth coating elegance, classic dark cherry with leather and earth joining on the palate

    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 [label]

    2015 Clos des Oiseaux

    Red, brambly and wild.   The array of fruit and savory creates extreme tension as the wine unravels.

    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

  • 2015 Eola-Amity Hills [label]

    2015 Eola-Amity Hills

    Including the oldest section of Eola-Springs, depth and power dovetail with elegance and precision in this six barrel selection.

    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

  • 2016 Willamette Valley [label]

    2016 Willamette Valley

    Twelve Barrel cuveé from Four Vineyard sites, two thirds Eola-Amity Hills.  Vibrant and juicy with creamy tannins and a long, savory finish.

    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 Sojourner Vineyard [label]

    2016 Sojourner Vineyard

    Rocky, volcanic outcropping on the Western side of the Eola Hills.  Enticing red fruits, silken texture with incredible integration of tannin.

    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

  • 2016 Sunny Mountain Vineyard [label]

    2016 Sunny Mountain Vineyard

    High elevation site planted and managed by guru viticulturalist Steve Price in the Southern Willamette.  Perfumy aromatics, ripe fruit core with elegant, mouth-coating viscosity.

    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

  • 2017 Justice Vineyard [label]

    2017 Justice Vineyard

    Ted and Mimi Casteel's adjacent property to Bethel Heights, farmed to the highest standards since 1999.  Intense and nervy with floral perfume and powerful framework.

    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

  • 2013 Willamette Valley  [label]

    2013 Willamette Valley

    Fourteen barrel blend from all five vineyards, showcasing our region's unique range of soils and climates with balance, delicacy, and complexity.  

    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

  • 2014 Willamette Valley [label]

    2014 Willamette Valley

    Twelve barrel blend from four vineyards, balancing a wide array of fresh fruit and savoriness on a mouthwatering and elegant framework.

    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 Sunny Mountain Vineyard [label]

    2014 Sunny Mountain Vineyard

    A three barrel selection from the highest elevation block of Steve Price's hidden gem of the Southern Willamette Valley.  Powerful aromas and broad texture.

    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

  • 2013 Sunny Mountain Vineyard [label]

    2013 Sunny Mountain Vineyard

    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. 

    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

  • 2013 Eola-Amity Hills [label]

    2013 Eola-Amity Hills

    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. 

    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

  • 2014 Clos des Oiseaux Vineyard [label]

    2014 Clos des Oiseaux Vineyard

    A small bottling of three barrels from this tiny vineyard farmed organically by Walter Scott Wines.  Exotically perfumed and approaching suppleness in texture.

    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

Vineyards

  • Eola Springs Vineyard

    Eola-Amity Hills AVA

    Vintages

    Eola Springs Vineyard is a relatively low elevation vineyard on the Western slope of the Eola-Amity Hills on Oak Grove Road between Highway 22 and Zena Road, in the Southern portion of what I like to call the “Holmes Gap Zone”. During my time making wine in the Willamette Valley, I had the pleasure of working with several sites in this area, which were often my favorite in the cellar, including Nuestro Sueño Vineyard one mile to the South, RoseRock Vineyard which is basically uphill, and Zena Crown Vineyard which is a few miles to the North.

    Jim Thomas and Dennis Peseau owned the vineyard until 2015 when they sold to Judy Jordan. The new owners have plans to further develop the site, and Dennis had already bought and developed a gorgeous piece of property sitting at 650 feet above Eola Springs called Sojourner, which will be a part of the portfolio starting with the 2015 wines.

    Some of the oldest plantings of Pinot Noir in this area were on the lower elevation soils of Eola Springs. While working with Evening Land Vineyards, I had the opportunity to first work with the younger blocks of Dijon 115 that I would eventually source in starting Violin, planted in the early 2000s and sitting in volcanic based soils at 350 feet.

    Like the character of the old vine wines, the Dijon 115 produces relatively small clusters with thick skins. The resulting wines have great intensity of aromatics and color, producing powerful floral and berry fruit aromas, as well as high tannin content that leads to great structure and length in the wines.

    For 2013, 14 and 15, Eola Springs has brought my favorite wines to the cellar. It has been the largest component in the Eola-Amity Hills Cuveé and at least 20% of the Willamette Valley. The wines are marked by intensity, vibrancy, and structure, providing a lovely range of aromatics and a strong support system for ageability.

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  • Clos des Oiseaux Vineyard

    Eola-Amity Hills AVA

    Vintages

    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 thanks to the direction of good friend Ryan Hannaford, a passionate viticulturist and grape whisperer.

    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.

    Clos des Oiseaux will be bottled as a vineyard designate whenever mother nature allows a large enough crop for Walter Scott to share with me! The wines have a layered and savory character that sets them very much apart from most wines in the valley. The moderate crop size helps to maintain exceptional concentration and viscosity in the wines. A small percentage will help build complexity and earthiness in the Eola-Amity Hills Cuveé when possible.

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    Sunrise on Picking Day 2015
  • Sylvia Sproed Vineyard

    Eola-Amity Hills AVA

    Vintages 2015–2016

    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.

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    Sunrise over Mt. Hood from Sylvia's
  • First Man Vineyard

    Willamette Valley AVA

    Vintages

    “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 wines with good intensity.

    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 younger block is on a steep South slope planted in 2010, and is 100% 777. I use the 2006 planting and the 2010 planting to produce wines from First Man.

    I am able to produce only between two and four barrels of this wine every year. It functions as the earthier, more gentle element in the Willamette Valley Cuveé, averaging between 8% and 30% of the volume depending on the year.

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    With Adam on Pick day 2014...Olin's seventh Birthday!
  • Sojourner Vineyard

    Eola-Amity Hills AVA

    Vintages 2015–2016

    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.

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    View West from Upper Rows
  • Sunny Mountain Vineyard

    Willamette Valley AVA

    Vintages 2013–2015

    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.

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    View East from the top of Sunny Mountain