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Our tiny little plot of Chenin Blanc at just over 1/3 of an acre represents the lion’s share of the current plantings in our valley. Since putting in, we’ve shared cuttings with many of our friends; so the wave is coming, and rightly so!
Farmed like we farm Pinot Noir because we don’t really know any better, the Chenin Blanc clusters were still comedic in their size relative to our Pinot noir, but we are getting used to this. These big clusters, even when cut back to one cluster per shoot, provide ample fruit, acid, and a kind of unique punch that makes this stuff hard to resist.
The Chenin sits just on the break on the western side of the vineyard, as the land begins to sharply slope down. Immediately adjacent to the house, the fruit sees ample sun, but has a constant breeze from the west, and the cool Pacific ocean. This keeps the grapes from getting too big, and reduces the amount of water they retain, which concentrates the fruit and keeps pH manageable.
We let this juice sit on its skins for 12 hours to extract a bit of acid, phenolics, and a bit of tannin, and then allowed the wine to ferment spontaneously in oak barrels, 20% of which were new. It remained there for 4 months on its primary lees.
What a fun wine! The nose is all citrus, lime blossom, and chalky, wet cement minerality, while the palate - brisk and fresh with acidity - opens up to a magnolia, grapefuity-like creamsicle that’s walking through an herb garden. Complex enough to mull over, but fresh enough to gulp thoughtlessly.
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The farm is the heart of what we do, so we make it our duty to honor and protect it. Both Vineyard and Winery are certified sustainable by the third party verifier LIVE (low input viticulture and enology).
We make sustainable wine because it tastes better and it ensures that our work does no harm to the land, the people, or the greater community. An accumulation of small decisions in the vineyard and winery, from cover cropping to our long-standing commitment to screwcap closures keep us deeply engaged and actively making the purest wines possible.
B-Corp certified in 2017, Patton Valley joins a community of over 2000 businesses meeting the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance and accountability and aspires to use business to solve social and environmental problems.
When they purchased the property in 1995, Monte Pitt and Dave Chen had been dreaming of planting Pinot noir in Oregon for over 10 years. At the crest of the hill, the 72-acre abandoned hillside orchard, overlooking the Patton Valley, in the small and unlikely town of Gaston, would provide the perfect site for the original 24 acres of the Patton Valley Estate Vineyard.
Today, the vineyard is 30 acres of clonally-diverse Pinot noir, Gamay, and Chenin blanc and our mission remains unchanged; to responsibly and sustainably grow the Willamette Valley’s finest grapes, and make beautiful wines that reflect the character of the land and of the people who produce them.
Leading our efforts is our Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, Derek Einberger, who joined us in the summer of 2010. Becoming a co-owner in 2013, his style of production, from root to fruit to glass, mirrors that of the overarching ethic of Patton Valley: a light, but deliberate hand.
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