Eileen Vineyard is named after founder Eileen Gerrie, wife of Paul Gerrie, and at the top of our hillside has commanding views of the Cristom estate, the Cascade Range to the east and the Coastal Range to the west. Planting began in 1997 on the south and southeast facing slopes was added to in 2006.
The more recent addition makes Eileen now a total of 16.61 acres (6.72 hectares) and our largest planting of Pinot Noir on the estate. The gentle slopes of Eileen Vineyard are planted to the top of our property ranging from 540 feet to 720 feet (165 m to 220 m) exposing Eileen to the direct cooling winds off the Pacific Ocean and the last rays of the sun encouraging the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly.
The maritime climate of Eileen Vineyard has moderately warm days and especially cool nights, allowing the vines to retain acidity and produce intense and fragrant aromas and flavors. Often recognizable by its bouquet of sweet spices, Eileen offers forward focused fruit and gentle tannins that coat the mouth. The vineyard tends to produce a wine that is textured, layered and creamy on the palate. The 2000 vintage was the inaugural release of the Eileen Vineyard single vineyard Pinot Noir.
The original vines are planted at the high density of 2,311 vines/acre (5,710 vines/ha) in 15.5 million year old Columbia River Basalt soils that range from moderately deep Nekia and Yamhill to shallow Ritner and Witzel soils that all have a natural devigorating effect on the vines, slowing vegetative growth and focusing the plants energy on fruit production.
Later in 2006, 4.52 acres (1.82 hectares) of Wädenswil clone were planted at 1,210 vines/acre (2,990 vines/ha) on the east-facing slope in a very deep basalt soil known as Jory.
Clones & Rootstocks
Eileen Vineyard’s 16.61 acres (6.72 hectares) of vines are composed of plantings of Dijon clones (114, 115, 777), Pommard (also known as UCD 4), and Wädenswil (also known as UCD 1A). All are grafted to phylloxera-resistant rootstocks and most of the acreage is densely planted at 2,311 vines/acre (5,710 vines/ha). The 4.52 acre (1.83 ha) block of Wädenswil clone grafted to 3309C makes up more than 27% of the total Pinot Noir acreage in Eileen Vineyard. It is the youngest planting and also the only Pinot Noir block in any of the estate single vineyards planted at 6 feet by 6 feet – a sparse 1,210 vines to the acre (2,990 vines/ha). The next largest planting in Eileen is Dijon clone 777 grafted to Riparia Gloire that comprises 3.65 acres (1.48 ha) or 22% of the vineyard; 21% of the vineyard, or 3.48 acres (1.41 ha) is planted to Dijon clone 115 grafted to 3309C; 2.99 acres (1.21 ha) or 18% of the vineyard is Pommard clone grafted onto Riparia Gloire, and 1.99 acres (0.81 ha) or 12% is Dijon 114 grafted onto 3309C rootstock.
Textured, layered and creamy on the palate and often recognizable by its bouquet of sweet spices.
As the vineyard with the highest elevation on our estate, Eileen is the first of our vineyards to welcome the cool Pacific Ocean breezes that flow through the Van Duzer Corridor. The corridor allows cool marine breezes to flow east into the Willamette Valley and moderates high summer temperatures, cools the vines, and moves air through the canopy to reduce disease pressure. This cool ocean air results in lower average temperatures at night, and helps to maintain good acid structure in the wines. Due to our altitude and location on the 45th parallel, there is a high diurnal temperature variation – meaning that there is a significant difference (often 35 degrees or more) between Eileen’s daytime high and nighttime lowest 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.