1. Maresh Vineyard
Located in the Dundee Hills A.V.A, planted 1970
2. momtazi Vineyard
Located in the McMinnville Foothills A.V.A.
3. FREEDOM HILL Vineyard
In the Oregon Coast Range, planted in 1982
This stunningly beautiful vineyard in the Dundee Hills A.V.A. (American Viticultural Appellation) was first planted in 1970 by Jim and Loie Maresh on Worden Hill Road above Dundee. Situated on a mostly south-facing slope between 500 and 700 feet above sea level, these old vines planted in Jory soil produce Pinot noir with the most seductive texture.
The Maresh family has been living on the farm since 1959. There is tremendous biodiversity and balance here, because from the beginning, Jim and his late wife, Loie, had the foresight and common sense to avoid vineyard monoculture. There are hazelnuts, hundred-year-old walnuts, hundred-year-old Royal Anne cherry trees, other fruit trees and plenty of acreage of wild areas throughout the farm. Their daughter Martha keeps houses for violet green swallows and bluebirds on the trellis posts, and they are flying all over the place in the spring and summer. She lovingly refers to this land as "the farm" and so do I. It is not just a vineyard at all.
Maresh Vineyard is certainly one of the most sought-after fruit sources in the Willamette Valley, and it has consistently produced wines of clear transmission of site for decades.
Momtazi Vineyard is a Demeter-certified biodynamic vineyard in the McMinnville Foothills A.V. A. (American Viticultural Appellation). Please refer to Moe's description of how he farms biodynamically here.
Moe's wild turkeys are just one example of how very alive and vibrant this vineyard is. Life is everywhere here: wildcats, bats, falcons, herons, egrets, loons, ducks, trout, and much more. Recently, I saw at least fifty goldfinches in a moving burst of yellow. One of my favourites was when a brilliantly-plumed oriole followed me from trellis post to trellis post as I sampled one afternoon. A number of springs surface throughout the vineyard land, one of which is the source of water for their beautiful winery. Exquisite. The fruit has arrived at the winery before with butterflies and bees hovering along with it.
Momtazi Vineyard, for me, has a sure and true minerality and its song is both precise and wild.
FREEDOM HILL VINEYARD
The storied, family-owned and farmed Freedom Hill Vineyard was first planted in 1982 by Dan and Helen Dusshee. Their son, Dustin, is doing the farming, and the family has lived there all of these years. Situated in the foothills of the Oregon Coast range near Dallas, this vineyard is in the Eola Hills, though just outside the lines drawn for the Eola Hills AVA. The top producers of Oregon Pinot noir have been making wines of excellence-consistently- from Freedom Hill for decades. Some of my favourite Pinot noirs recently are from Freedom Hill.
This is the first marine sedimentary soil (Bellpine) vineyard I have worked with in my own winery, and I think this soil type is wonderful for my Pinot blanc. The source is an ancient seabed. The elevation ranges between 350 and 600 feet, and the exposition is southeast.
I was lucky enough in 2017 to start working with a 1.75 acre block of their Pinot blanc, and I fell in love with it on sight. I now have two bottlings starting in 2017 from here: the Barbie Pinot Blanc, fermented in an Acacia puncheon, and the neutral Burgundy barrel-fermented Freedom Hill Pinot Blanc.