The Estate Vineyard, located south of Salem, is planted on an old west-to-southwest facing volcanic flow. The pioneering Jory family who first farmed the hill-site found the ancient volcanic, iron-rich soil to be ideal for dark, thin-skinned plums, which they dried into prunes. Wine grapes were first planted in 1983 by Jim Bernau, Founder and President of Willamette Valley Vineyards
The vineyard site rises from 500-750 feet in elevation with seven to twelve degree slopes tilted toward the sun. As a result, the vines get excellent air drainage and are above the frost line. At this elevation and slope, the temperature is approximately ten degrees warmer than the valley floor during the day.
The soil type is typically a clay loam, which is permeable to roots, retentive of moisture and runs five to seven feet deep. Because this soil is so old, estimated to be ten to fourteen million years old, rain water has percolated through this now acidic soil, breaking down the basalt, allowing the roots to tap down. The Nekia and Jory soils are well drained to a depth of two and a half to six feet.
The Estate vineyard has a total of fifty acres of vines planted with the first Dijon clones grafted in 1993. It is primarily planted with Pinot Noir Dijon clones 667, 777, Pommard and Wadenswil. Additionally, a portion is planted in Pinot Gris and Dijon Clone Chardonnay 76 and 96.
Wines made from this vineyard exude a sense of place and display complexity, elegance and balance.