At a time when the Dundee Hills almost exclusively were the home to the burgeoning Oregon wine industries’ initial craftspeople Hal Medici planted his first vines in 1976 to the northeast of the Dundee Hill on Bell Rd. due north of downtown Newberg in an area that is now part of the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Over the course of the next 25 years the vineyard was expanded to its current size. While it has Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling planted in it Patricia Green Cellars sources only Pinot Noir from four distinct sections.
Medici Vineyard is a good analogy for what one might find in the large, diverse and far-ranging Chehalem Mountains AVA. Our other two vineyards in this AVA are largely planted in Marine Sedimentary soil. However, Medici begins at over 500’ in elevation and rises to close to 900’ elevation putting it squarely into the sections of hillsides where one would find Volcanic soil. And Medici is, in fact, planted in Jory soil which gives it a flavor profile more in common with our Dundee Hills’ wines than wines from the same appellation just down the way on the same road.
In 2015 J. Christopher Winery took over the entirety of the site and hired Stirling Fox to manage the property. We were offered our choice of different blocks in the vineyard and the provision that if we took 4 acres within the vineyard then an additional acre from the original 1976 planting of Pommard would be made available as well. 2015 represents our first vintage with Medici Vineyard and even at this early stage it is clear that the wines are delicious and unique and that the barrels that hold the wines from the oldest vines have some of the best wines in the cellar. This promises to be a special wine with a red-fruited heart but a leaner character than our Dundee Hill sites and slightly minerally back palate profile to lend complexity. Look for the 2015 Medici Vineyard Pinot Noir release in the spring of 2016.