Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman stand at the vanguard of the new world wine. Together they steward the historic Seven Springs Vineyard into its fourth decade. At Evening Land Vineyards, they strive to grow and vinify fine Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Gamay from their historic Seven Springs Estate Vineyard in Oregon's Eola-Amity Hills. Totalling 85 acres under vine; their east-facing vineyard, farmed biodynamically since 2007, was first planted in 1984, and sits atop rocky, volcanic soils.
They are, first and foremost, faithful stewards of the historic Seven Springs vineyard, planted by Oregon wine pioneer Al MacDonald in 1984. On this dramatic east-facing slope, in the iron-rich and rocky, volcanic soils of the Eola-Amity Hills, Al MacDonald undertook what would become one of Oregon's most recognized vineyards. Nestled against a forest of Douglas fir with views eastward to Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson, it is immediately evident to any visitor why Al chose this site.
Running north to south, adjacent to the Willamette River, the Eola-Amity Hills AVA has shallow and well-drained soils created from ancient lava flows (called Jory), marine sediments, rocks and alluvial deposits. These soils force vine roots to dig deep, producing small grapes with great concentration.
Like in the McMinnville sub-AVA, cold Pacific air streams in via the Van Duzer Corridor and assists the maintenance of higher acidity in its grapes. This great concentration, combined with marked acidity, give the Eola-Amity Hills wines—namely Pinot noir—their distinct character. While the region covers 40,000 acres, no more than 1,400 acres are covered in vine.
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.”