St. Innocent Winery was founded in May 1988 by Mark Vlossak, the current winemaker and president, and eight investors. Ten tons of grapes were crushed the first fall, producing 396 cases of still and 176 cases of sparkling wine. Production increased to our full capacity of 6800 cases in 2004. The winery is located in Salem, Oregon, at the southeast corner of the Eola Hills, in the mid-Willamette valley.
St. Innocent produces small lot, handmade wines: seven single vineyard Pinot noirs and a blended Pinot noir called the Villages Cuvée, two Chardonnay from Dijon clone plantings, two Pinot gris, and a Pinot blanc.
The philosophy behind the winemaking at St Innocent is that the function of wine is to complement and extend the pleasure of a meal. The characteristics of a wine should enhance different food and flavor combinations - this interaction amplifies the pleasure of a meal. To this end, St. Innocent wines tend toward higher acid levels, and more diverse and balanced flavors.
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The 2011 Freedom Hill Chardonnay has a detailed and focused nose of apples and pears with spice and ripe citrus notes. Fresh stone fruit flavors are balanced by bright acidity and layers of stoniness - both river stones and the stone of a peach. These flavors extend across the palate and the... more
The 2010 Pinot gris, Vitae Springs Vineyard has concentrated ground spice notes and a bit of chili pepper-like heat along with pear, apple, melon, and hints of orange peel aromas. Apple, pear, white flowers and melon flavors are backed by a core of minerality. Backed by a stong backbone of fresh... more
The 2010 Freedom Hill Chardonnay has a nose of apples, pears with hints of peach, spice and citrus notes. It enters your mouth with these same fruits, a purity of fresh acidity and layers of stoniness - both river stones and the stone of a peach. These flavors extend across the palate and the... more
My focus is to produce Pinot gris made in the style of Alsace. These wines are known for their textural complexity; the way the wine feels and moves inside your mouth. Pinot gris intrigues me because of its unique spiciness. By picking late and harvesting at full ripeness, Pinot gris's signature... more
Pinot blanc and Pinot gris are closely related to Pinot noir. Both are the result of natural mutations of Pinot noir. The entire Pinot family ripens beautifully in Oregon because our climate is ideally suited to their growing needs. The resulting wines are blessed with both ripe fruit and balanced... more
The Freedom Hill Dijon clone Chardonnays are Meursault-like: darker fruit with a stony minerality and rich textures in the mouth. I struggled with the specific style for Freedom Hill Chardonnay until my visit to Burgundy and Chablis in 2003. There I tasted a grand cru Chablis fermented entirely in... more
This is a complex wine that reflects the heat of the afternoon sun, the cool, windy evenings, and the rustic soils of the McMinnville hills while retaining the dark beauty of its intense, ripe fruit. It is aromatically complex with layers of blue and black fruit, Indian spices, coffee hints, and... more
Our Estate wine, the 2009 Zenith Vineyard Pinot noir, has a big nose of red raspberries with smoke, cedar, and dark ground spice notes. In the mouth, layers of red and dark red fruit dominate the palate with roasted spices, dark flowers and forest floor flavors underneath. This is a richly layered... more
The Shea has aromas of deep red fruits with sweet floral highlights and hints of sweet caramel. Big ripe fruits dominate the entry onto the palate followed by sweet spices, summer flowers and hints of dried red flowers into the finish. This is a wine that begins with immense sweet fruit and then... more
The 2009 Villages Cuvee Pinot noir reflects the signature of Oregon's 2009 vintage: fresh bright fruit. Its nose of bright red and dark fruit is enhanced by complex floral and layered sweet ground spices. It is quite rich in the mouth with sweet cherry and red berry flavors with spice, pepper, and... more