The views from the top of the east-facing Jessie Vineyard are some of Cristom’s most spectacular. On a clear day, the Cascade Mountains (including Mts. Jefferson, Hood, and Adams) sparkle. Named after Paul Gerrie’s paternal grandmother, Jessie Sommers, Jessie Vineyard is the steepest on the Cristom property. It is also the vineyard with the greatest elevation change and most diverse soils. First released in 1998, Jessie is typically deep, rich and floral with multiple layers of flavor.
Within Jessie’s 240-545 feet elevation range are five distinctly different volcanic-basalt derived soils including Jory, Nekia, Ritner, Witzel and Gelderman. Jory, one of the characteristic Willamette Valley soils is a deep, well-drained, silty clay loam soil from igneous bedrock. Witzel, located primarily at the crest of the hill, is a shallow, rocky, well drained loamy soil derived from basalt. Because of how shallow and well-drained Witzel soil is, this is one of the very few places on the farm where irrigation is occasionally used. We believe Jessie is the only vineyard with Gelderman soil, a moderately deep, well drained silty clay loam derived from basalt that has a higher percentage of clay than the other basalt derived soils on our site.
Clones & Rootstocks
Planting for the 11.5 acre Jessie Vineyard began in 1994 with Pommard and Dijon clones 115, 114 and 777. By 2000, Jessie was entirely planted with phylloxera resistant rootstock. The vineyard now has six different clones of Pinot Noir planted on three different rootstocks: 22% of the vineyard is planted with Dijon clone 115 on 3309C rootstock; 20% is Pommard on Riparia Gloire; 16% is Dijon 114 on 3309C; 13% is Dijon clone 667 on 101-14 rootstock; 13% is Dijon 777 on 3309C; 8% is Dijon 113 on Riparia Gloire. The remaining 8% is Dijon 667 on Riparia Gloire.
Deep, darkly floral notes and a savory quality imbue Jessie with an appealing texture capable of seducing when young or aging gracefully into the future.
Densely planted, Jessie has 2,311 plants per acre. This strategy forces the roots deep into the topsoil, creating competition among other vines, yielding smaller clusters and producing more concentrated flavors. Planted entirely in a west-east row orientation, all of the vines are farmed sustainably and trellised vertically (vertical shoot positioning) in conjunction with a single-guyot training system. Also called cane pruning, guyot preserves delicate shoots as the fruiting cane for the next year’s harvest. In the single-guyot training method, a single cane is trained along the fruiting wire, while in double-guyot a cane is trained along the fruiting wire in either direction. Due to Jessie’s steep slope, only a crawler tractor is capable of farming this vineyard.