Cristom Vineyards named 2023 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Winery of the Year


Eileen Vineyard, named after co-founder Eileen Gerrie is situated at our highest elevation on the original property rising to over 735 feet with commanding views of the Cascade Range to the east and the Coastal Range to the west. From where it sits at the crest of the Eola Hills, Eileen Vineyard may be the site at Cristom more defined by the cold, Pacific Ocean winds than any other vineyard we farm. Eileen Vineyard is distinctive with some of the most dramatic range of soil depths on the Cristom estate, fierce winds, high elevation, multiple expositions and the most diverse collection of Pinot Noir clonal selections of any of our estate vineyards.
There is something sincerely special about the combination of soil depths ranging from some of our shallowest soils to some of the deepest soils on the entire Cristom Estate, and a bigger impact from the wind and Pacific Ocean than any other vineyard we farm.

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Our Estate lies due East of an area in the Coastal Mountain Range called the Van Duzer Corridor, which funnels cool air from the Pacific Ocean into the Willamette Valley contributing to winds that can reach 20-25 mph during the growing season. The wind here has a fairly dramatic effect on the vines and the resulting wines. As the wind speed really picks up causes the vines to slow down its photosynthetic processes and the vines tend to grow very slowly, yet also very consistently. The wind also can lead to slightly more tough skins in an other wise thin skinned Pinot Noir grape which can help result in more structured and powerful wines coming from Eileen Vineyard.
There is a yin and yang to Eileen that creates rather natural and intentional harmony and balance in the wines coming from the more red fruit elements coming from the deepest Jory soils and highest elevations where the temperatures are most cool, balanced by the structure from the stem inclusion and skin tannin from the windswept rows and the dark, focused and concentrated wines being made from some of the shallowest most stony Witzel soils of our Estate. What a site, really. Deep volcanic soil, shallow volcanic soil, SE facing, Due East facing, 540 feet to 740 feet, cool ocean winds, huge diurnal shift, natural acidity, long hang time; this vineyard has it all and is now producing some of our greatest wines of the vintage.
We have been producing a single vineyard wine from Eileen Vineyard since the 2000 vintage and as of recently, maybe now that the vines are deeper and older producing something even more intense and complex, the wines are becoming the most awarded and sought after Pinot Noirs we make. And for us in the cellar, the recent vintages of 2013, 2014, and 2015 were some of the best wines we made as a company in those years. What’s more is the potential for Eileen Vineyard as we move into the next 5-10 years as we are developing another ten acres of land that will produce in just a few years time. The soil we are expanding to will be some of the most windswept areas of the Estate with a direct view of Van Duzer Corridor directly adjacent to Temperance Hill Vineyard near the very top of the Eola Hills.

At A Glance:

Acres: 24.36 (9.86 hectares)
Elevation: 545 feet to 735 feet (166 m to 224 m)
Soils: Columbia River Basalts, including: Jory, Saum, Nekia, Ritner, Witzel, Yamhill
Aspect: south; southeast; east
Established: 1997
Vine Density: 1,210 vines/acre; 2,070 vines/acre; 2,311 vines/acre
Varietals: Pinot Noir; Chardonnay
Clones: Pinot Noir: Pommard, Wädenswil, Mt. Eden, Swan, Calera and Dijon clones 114, 115, 777; Chardonnay: 76, 27, 107, 124, 548
First Vintage: 2000

“It feels like something made by angels rather than guys in work boots.”

-Karen MacNeil, Winespeed, January 2017

Current Releases From Eileen Vineyard

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Eileen Vineyard
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