We searched for years to find the ideal site on which to grow Pinot Noir and finally found it on this 128-acre hillside in the McMinnville AVA, which we purchased in December 2004. The soils are a mixture of glacial deposits and volcanic material, with a predominant presence of broken basalt. We have east, south and west exposures to choose from on a cool, windy site on the edge of the Coastal Range.
As a result, we believe we have found a site where we can grow unique wines, wines that truly speak of this place. There were 18 acres of existing vines when we purchased the property and have subsequently re-planted close to 50% of the vineyard, fine tuning the viticultural practices and improving the clonal and rootstock combinations, which included one of the first plantings of the Swan clonal selection of Pinot Noir in Oregon.
After dropping all of the crop in 2005 to allow the vines to get better established, we made our first two Pinot Noirs from the mature vines on the property from the 2006 vintage, a total of 720 cases. In the spring of 2008, we planted an additional 3.5 acres of Pinot Noir, which we expect to be in production in 2012. We have found that because of the rocky soils and low water retention, it takes five years for a vine to get into production on this site. In addition to the Pinot, we now have 1.5 acres of Syrah planted, a varietal that we believe benefits greatly from a cool growing climate.
We make our wines at the Carlton Winemakers Studio in historic Carlton, a wonderful collaborative environment that gives us the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge with other local winemaking families.
-Robert & Ellen Brittan
Address & Tasting Hours
PO Box 1225
McMinnville, OR 97128
Tasting Room Hours: By appointment only.
Year of 1st Vintage: 2006
Owners: Robert & Ellen Brittan
McMinnville AVA Wines Produced: Basalt Block Pinot Noir and Gestalt Block Pinot Noir
McMinnville AVA Grapes Grown: Pinot Noir and Syrah
McMinnville AVA fruit sold to: Ayoub Wines