LOUISE VINEYARD

Louise Vineyard was named for founder Paul Gerrie’s maternal grandmother and was planted on the lower slopes of the Cristom Estate beginning in 1993. It rises from around 290 feet to 440 feet above the valley floor and is very distinctive in many ways on the Cristom Estate.  With three different rootstocks, five clones of Pinot Noir, diverse soil depths and surrounded on its east-facing slopes by a forest of Oak and Fir,  Louise can be our most varied site at the Estate and we often harvest both the first and last Pinot Noir of the vintage from her vines.

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Here, the vines are sheltered from the strong Pacific Ocean breezes coming through the Van Duzer corridor by a thick tree line between Marjorie and Louise and there is therefore less stress on the vines and they respond with vigorous growth, big clusters and big berries that tend toward a dark and ripe fruit spectrum.

Because Louise is the last to receive the cooling breezes from the Pacific and has a slightly lower diurnal temperature variation, and is also is lower in elevation and slightly warmer all growing season long, the fruit can be intense with emphasized tannic structure.

The Louise Vineyard single vineyard wines are perhaps most defined by their structure more than any other of our vineyards on the farm.  The fruit is often dark and exotic and the wines are punctuated by brooding and masculine aromas that conjure up images of fresh pipe tobacco, sandalwood, leather, spice and dirt.  The Louise wines exude the most mushroom, mossy, wet stone of any of the vineyards along with a marriage to dark black, blue and purple fruits and firm tannic structure these wines are truly built to evolve over two decades.

Louise Vineyard is distinctly different from our other estate Pinot Noir vineyards on the hillside because it can be divided into “upper” Louise and “lower” Louise across its 150 feet of elevation change.  Upper Louise is planted at 2,311 vines/acre (5,710 vines/ha) in very deep Columbia River Basalt soils known as Jory that grades downslope to moderately deep Nekia and Ritner.  These soils are known to be mineral rich and well draining allowing the roots to drive deep in the ground. The upper corner of the 12.29 acres (4.97 hectares) of Pinot Noir lies in a sun shadow and is often the last fruit harvested off of the estate.   

“Lower” Louise has a strong influence from the end of the last ice age 13,000 -15,000 years ago with Missoula Flood soils known as Willamette and Woodburn covering the basalt bedrock. The Pinot Noir vines planted closest to the winery are planted at 1,815 vines/acre (4,485 vines/ha) entirely on Missoula Flood silts known as Woodburn, a very deep, well drained silt loam that formed over clay red paleosol.  This is the only block of Pinot Noir on the Cristom estate planted over Missoula silts and often produces dark and concentrated expressions of the Pommard clone and is typically the first fruit harvested at Cristom.  Louise Vineyard is the only Pinot Noir vineyard on the Cristom estate that can claim this dramatic soil diversity and we believe it has contributed to the intensity and complexity in the wines since its initial release from the 1996 vintage

At A Glance:

Acres: 18.19 (7.36 hectares)

Elevation: 290 feet to 440 feet (88 m to 134 m)

Soils: Columbia River Basalts: Jory Nekia, Ritner and Witzel; Marine Sediments: Helmick and Wellsdale; Missoula Flood silts including: Willamette and Woodburn soils

Aspect: east; southeast

Established: 1993

Vine Density: 1,815 – 2,311 vines/acre

Varietals: Pinot Noir; Chardonnay; Pinot Gris; Syrah; Viognier

Clones: Pinot Noir Pommard and Dijon clones 113, 114, 115, 777; Chardonnay 95

First Vintage: 1996

“Delivers a suave blend of power and elegance, finishing with harmonious tannins and remarkable clarity and length.”

 – Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media

Current Releases From LOUISE Vineyard

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Eileen Vineyard
Jessie Vineyard
Louise Vineyard
Marjorie Vineyard
Paul Gerrie Vineyard
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