Sourced exclusively from 15 acres of Pinot Noir from the first plantings at the Estate Vineyard, Founder Jim Bernau planted these vines using a Christmas tree planter pulled behind his 33 horsepower tractor. He grafted the French clones 667 and 777 on a portion of the vines when they became available.
91 points - Wine Enthusiast
92 points & Gold Medal - Savor Northwest
90 points - James Suckling
On the Nose: The 2018 vintage resulted in perfectly ripe fruit with intense color and opulent flavors. Deep garnet colored in the glass, the wine opens with a complex nose of bramble fruit, plum, dried herbs and minerality notes.
On the Palate: Showcasing concentration and elegance, the palate is packed with flavors of red and black fruit framed by cedar and earth. The well-structured, polished tannins and balancing acidity suggest this wine will further reward those with patience.
Food Pairings: The Bernau Block is not just for casual sipping, as this wine can stand up to rich gastronomic dishes. Enjoy with grilled Oregon lamb chops, cedar plank salmon, filet mignon, mushroom risotto, dishes featuring native Oregon truffles and charcuterie.
Peak Drinkability: 2020 - 2030
Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Vineyard in the Salem Hills
Willamette Valley AVA
In 1983, with the encouragement from winemakers making their move from California, Jim cleared an old pioneer plum orchard in the Salem Hills, hidden underneath scotch broom and blackberry vines to plant Pinot Noir. Unable to afford drip irrigation, he watered the vines by hand using 17 lengths of 75’ garden hose to get the grapelings through their first summer.
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 10 degrees cooler than the valley floor during the day.
The Estate Vineyard has a total of 67 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 Wädenswil. Additionally, a portion is planted in Pinot Gris and Dijon Clone Chardonnay 76 and 96.
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