Chehalem Stoller Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
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Chehalem is considered a vineyard winery, aiming to reflect what the vineyard has produced, purely, with minimal processing and without compromising great fruit. Their name, Chehalem, translates to Valley of Flowers in the Native American language, Calapooia. It’s their goal to follow the example set centuries ago: to treat the land with great care and to continue the mission of creating a sustainable future.
Their story starts in 1990 with the inaugural Pinot Noir harvest at Ridgecrest Vineyard. As those wines were releasing in 1993, Bill Stoller joined as co-owner. He subsequently purchased his family farmlands at the southern tip of the Dundee with the vision of planting it as our second estate vineyard.
In 1995, they purchased Corral Creek, the vineyard surrounding the winery. It became the third estate vineyard.
In early 2018, Bill became the sole owner of Chehalem, and by July, they had become the sixth Oregon winery to achieve B Corp status. This rigorous certification assesses companies to ensure they meet the highest standard of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.
Home of the first Pinot noir vineyard of the Willamette Valley, planted by David Lett of Eyrie Vineyard in 1966, today the Dundee Hills AVA remains the most densely planted AVA in the valley (and state). To its north sits the Chehalem Valley and to its south, runs the Willamette River. Within the region’s 12,500 acres, about 1,700 are planted to vine on predominantly basalt-based, volcanic, Jory soil.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”