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


Paul Gerrie Vineyard, named for the visionary Cristom founder, is an expansive and uniform, gently sloping 109-acre bench of deep volcanic soil just to the north of the original estate in the Eola Hills. Purchased in 2012 and rising from 540 feet to nearly 800 feet (165 m to 244 m), development began in Paul with the first Pinot Noir vines going into the ground in 2014. With an unwavering focus on estate grown fruit in the Eola-Amity Hills, Paul Gerrie Vineyard has grown to be our largest vineyard of nearly 29 acres (11.7 hectares) including more than 22 acres (8.9 hectares) of Pinot Noir and 6 acres (2.51 hectares) of Chardonnay.

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The site combines some of the greatest aspects of Eileen Vineyard and Marjorie Vineyard – soils, slope, elevation, and wind – into one single hundred-acre property.
The Paul Gerrie Vineyard is planted over our most coveted volcanic soils in the Eola Hills with a range of soil depth of less than 20 inches of topsoil to more than 5-feet of soil.  Witzel and Ritner are shallow and gravelly and stony soils that run along the western ridge and southern edge of the property.  There is also a swale of thin soils through the Chardonnay in the northeast corner where the vines struggle.  The rocky soils have a natural devigorating effect on the vines, slowing vegetative growth, producing small, light clusters that are concentrated and focused.
The majority of the site is dominated by deep and moderately deep volcanic soils and we have focused the planting between 550 feet to 728 feet (168 m to 222 m) developing the east and southeast facing mid slope in the deeper Jory, Nekia and Saum basalt soils.  The deeper soils can produce higher vine vigor than the shallower basaltic soils with greater water holding capacity, and often the fruit ripens more slowly in these blocks.  When you think of deep volcanic soil, think high-toned, bright red fruit flavors and aromas with good acid structure.
Paul Gerrie Vineyard paves the way for our future with more control over our fruit sourcing and ensuring we optimize quality and yields with a focus on thoughtful, ecologically conscience farming practices.  As our largest plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on the estate, Paul is the single largest vineyard component of our Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir and Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay making it the central component of our winemaking.
The maritime climate of Paul Gerrie Vineyard has moderately warm days, especially cool nights and strong nightly winds that cool the vines and the fruit allowing the clusters to retain acidity and produce wines of great structure and length.  As our highest elevation vineyard along with Eileen Vineyard, the Pacific Ocean winds that flow through the Van Duzer Corridor rush down Paul Gerrie Vineyard with nightly gusts of 20-25 mph throughout the growing season. The corridor allows cool marine breezes to flow east into the Willamette Valley and moderate high summer temperatures, move air through the canopy lowering disease pressure and cools the vines. This cool ocean air results in low temperatures at night and helps to maintain good acid structure in the wines. Due to our altitude and location at the 45th parallel, there is a high diurnal temperature variation – meaning that there is a significant difference (often 35 degrees or more) between the vineyard’s daytime high and nighttime low temperature during the growing season. This significant temperature shift preserves the natural acids in the grapes, helps encourage the grapes to ripen slowly, and often can result in later picking dates and thus more hang-time on the vine.
The Paul Gerrie Vineyard is an east-facing piece of ground we had admired for twenty years for the prime elevation, expansive, consistently deep volcanic soils across a gentle sloping bench and now it represents the future of our Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

At A Glance:

Acres: 28.86 (11.68 hectares)

Elevation: 540 feet to 800 feet (165 m to 244 m)

Soils: Columbia River Basalts, including: Jory, Saum, Nekia, Yamhill, Gelderman, Ritner and Witzel.

Aspect: southeast; east

Established: 2014

Vine Density: 1,450 vines/acre (3,583 vines/hectare)

Varietals: Pinot Noir; Chardonnay; Gamay

Clones: Pinot Noir: Pommard and Dijon clones 113, 114, 115, 667, 777; Chardonnay: 76, 95, 96 and Seven Springs

First Vintage: 2016

This vineyard paves the way for our future with more control over our fruit sourcing and ensuring we optimize quality and yields with a focus on thoughtful, ecologically conscience farming.

Current Releases From Paul Gerrie Vineyard

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Eileen Vineyard
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Marjorie Vineyard
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