2017 Vintage Notes

The 2017 growing season started with an average to late bud break mid to late April, following another very wet winter with weekly snowfall that paralyzed the area. The “Godzilla el Nino” of 2016 with 50% more precipitation than average, was upstaged by the 40 inches in the first 4 months of 2017 (20” average). By early May the heat was turned on with low 80s, reaching the 90s by the end of the month and breaking the 100s late June. Bloom started the third week of June with cooler temperatures and moisture. The summer was hot and dry, eclipsing previous years out of the record books.

Harvest 2017

Harvesting is the first step in making any wine. The moment the grapes are picked determines the acidity, sweetness, and ultimate flavor of the wine. The harvest date for each Halem Heights vineyard site is selected when the acidity and sweetness of the grapes at that location are in perfect balance. We always harvest each grape cluster by hand to ensure only the best quality grapes are selected during the process. The grapes used in the Halem Heights Willamette Valley 2017 Pinot Noir were harvested between September 27th and October 30th. Each site was evaluated scientifically and with some good old-fashioned grape tasting to maximize the flavor profile of the vineyard before harvesting. Clusters were removed at each site between 2 and 5 am to ensure the grapes were delivered to the winery for processing first thing in the morning in order to minimize the time between the vine and press.

Sorting and Pressing

After harvesting the best clusters, the process of making wine begins. At the winery, the best individual grapes for our 2017 Pinot Noir were table sorted by hand to select only the best of the 2017 crop. Next, they were, de-stemmed and crushed into must – freshly pressed grape juice that also contains the grape skins, seeds, and solids. With our 2017 Pinot Noir vintage, we let the must ferment with the skins as long as possible to acquire the desirable flavors, colors and additional tannins. It is during this stage that the iconic pinot noir color profile is achieved. Body and aroma elements are developed during this process to make the 2017 vintage more structured and complex.

Fermentation and Clarification

Fermentation took place in 1.5 ton fermentation tanks for 17 days. After the fermentation process was complete, a unique clarification step began in which the yeast cells, excess tannins, and proteins were removed. After filtering, the wine was then transferred or “racked” into oak barrels selected for their specific flavor profiles. The clarified wine was then racked into yet another vessel and prepared for future aging and bottling.

Aging and Bottling

After the clarification and final racking, we aged our 2017 Pinot Noir in oak barrels a full 24 months to soften the flavor profile of the wine before bottling. Aging the wine in oak barrels produces a smoother, rounder, and more vanilla-flavored wine as the wine absorbs aspects of the French oak barrels. Barrel aging also increases the wine’s exposure to oxygen, which decreases tannins and helps the wine reach its optimal fruitiness. After aging, our wine was bottled with first-rate Diam 10 corks in premium Burgundy glassware. Each bottle is labeled with gold embossed textures and gold foil on the neck.

2017 Pinot Noir

  • 100% Olson
  • Dundee Hills AVA.
  • Jory soil
  • 1972 Planted own root vines
  • 10/7/2017 Harvest date.
  • 13.75% Alcohol
  • <.2% sugar
  • 23.1 Brix
  • 3.56 pH
  • Prelude, RB2, F15 yeast blend
  • .6 total acidity
  • 33.27 ppm S02 at bottling
  • .65 grams/100ml Tartaric acid
  • 24 months aged in French oak
  • 11/12/19 Bottling


  • Olson Vineyard - Dundee Hills 100% 100%

Élevage (Aging)

  • Neutral Oak 67% 67%
  • New French Oak 22% 22%

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