The joy found in a glass of exquisite Pinot Noir begins in the vineyard, with the farmer. There, in the dirt, rain, wind and sun the aromas and flavors begin as they take in all that is the terroir, the character of the site. The farmer's hand ensures that each vine receives the proper nutrition, and management from pruning and leaf removal to fruit thinning and vineyard bio-diversity. For the farmer, it is like caring for hundreds and hundreds of children, each with its own needs and wants.
Our vineyard is planted on a steep sloping slice of rich, red, volcanic soil nestled between the historic vineyards of Jim Maresh and Dick Erath. These gentlemen bring us great inspiration, insight and friendships that, like the soil beneath us, will last an eternity.
Like our peers, we believe in tending the land as naturally as we can and with this we work by the standards of LIVE vineyard certification. LIVE aims to preserve sustainability with human and natural resources in the wine industry of the Pacific Northwest. This internationally recognized certifier is an Oregon born program and we are proud to be part of it.
See below for more details on our vineyard but better yet, come out and visit us. See, touch and smell the red soil and explore what our finest winemakers craft with Bella Vida grapes.
The Dundee Hills creation started about 15 to17 million years ago when in far eastern Washington very fluid lava erupted and flowed west over portions of southwest Washington and the northern part of what is now the Willamette Valley. During this period Basaltic Lava flowed right over the top of the Dundee Hills, because at that point the hills did not exist. Starting about five million years ago, mass tectonic uplift started to occur, as the North American plate slipped under the Pacific plate. This created what is now the Coast Range of Oregon, southwest Washington and northern California. One of the many ripple effects of all of this land movement was the uplift of a single landmass which rose up from above the now northern Willamette Valley floor, creating this very special place our vineyards and wineries call home…the Dundee Hills.
Further defining our appellation were the catastrophic Missoula Floods. These floods happened between 15,500 and 12,700 years ago, on the interval of one flood every 60 to 90 years. The flood was caused by a glacier heading south clogging rivers near Missoula, Montana. Lake Missoula would grow into a very large lake, and every 60 to 90 years would break through the ice dam rushing down from Montana into and eventually filling the Willamette Valley to a depth of 300 to 330 feet. As each of these floods receded, a small layer of sediment was laid down over the Willamette Valley, covering all elevations below 300 to 330 feet. This is where the read definition of the Dundee Hills became apparent. Anything below 300 to 330 feet was a sedimentary based soil, while anything remaining above that elevation remained predominantly Jory soil.