Erath’s 119-acre Willakia Vineyard is located in the prestigious Eola-Amity Hills Appellation. During the growing season, the region benefits from the temperature-moderating effect of the prevailing ocean breezes that flow through the Van Duzer Corridor. The vineyard is divided into small blocks with diverse clones and rootstocks based on the aspects, slopes, and orientations of the vineyard’s beautiful rolling lands. These unique characteristics serve to complete winemaker Gary Horner’s philosophy of producing small, single-vineyard wines to achieve high-quality and unique interpretations of Oregon Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. To date, the vineyard is planted with 98 acres of Pinot Noir and 21 acres of Chardonnay. The vineyard is certified sustainably farmed under the LIVE and Salmon Safe programs.
The 2014 vintage was the hottest on record in the Willamette Valley to date. In fact, it broke our previous record for heat accumulation set in 2003. Daytime highs were certainly warm, but the average overnight temperature was also higher. Those two combined elements set the stage for an early harvest which occurred three to four weeks ahead of schedule. The season delivered a record amount of balanced fruit with dry, warm weather throughout the spring, summer, and early fall. What little precipitation occurred did so in late September, serving to provide water relief and temper rapidly rising sugar concentrations. The harvested fruit and resulting wines exhibit fresh fruit qualities, balance in acidity, and moderate alcohol. The harvested fruit and resulting wines exhibit fresh fruit qualities, balance in acidity, and moderate alcohol. Harvest began on September 15th.
Willakia boasts panoramic views of the region’s beauty and this wine reflects these varied vistas, an Oregon bounty. Aromas of blackberry, pine, toasted hazelnuts, and wet rock introduce flavors of black cherry, loganberry, and mocha. Youthful, but already showing signs of its inevitable complexity.