Durant Vineyard is located on Breyman Orchard Rd slightly down the hill from Balcombe Vineyard. It has a southern exposure, as opposed to a western/southwestern aspect. It is located adjacent to Domaine Drouhin’s Estate Vineyard. This is a historic, old Oregon vineyard, originally planted in 1973. The Durant family has owned, lived on and farmed the property for the past 40+ years. The Durants were pioneers in the Oregon viticulture world, establishing their vineyard just a few years after David Lett of Eyrie Winery and Vineyard planted his first vines only a few hundred yards away from this site.
Patricia Green Cellars’ relationship began with the Durant Vineyard in 2010. Initially, the block that was purchased was the original 1973 planting called the Bishop Block. In 2010 and 2011, only one Durant Vineyard bottling was produced. However, in 2012 a freak spring time hail storm basically stripped these vines of their flowers leaving the plants with essentially no fruit for the vintage. To compensate our production, a 2000 planting of Dijon 115 was purchased. While this was very nice fruit, it was huge, dense and dark which was quite different from the sublime and elegant bottling done the previous two vintages. So the 2012 bottling was called the Durant Vineyard, Madrone Block. Since 2013 we have bottled both expressions of the vineyard separately giving us two beautiful Pinot Noirs.
Durant Vineyard, Bishop Block Pinot Noir: The bulk of this Block remains the original planting done in 1973 by the Durant family which still owns, maintains and lives on the property. They established this site at a time when there were only a handful of vineyards in the region and were, for a time, co-founders and partners in Sokol Blosser Winery whose property they abut to the south. The wines from this block are deep, elegant, deft and have great sophistication and length to them. The thing about older vines is that the element that the age of the vine lends to the grape and, ultimately, the wine is hard to describe. At 40 years+ vine-age as in the Bishop Block there is a greater degree of subtlety to the expression of the fruit, there is a sense of minerality in the wines and the overall tone, tenor and balance of the wine is more nuanced and will evolve and survive the tests of time much more gracefully than its younger counterparts. Having access to fruit from this wonderful, old, historic family vineyard is a joy and a gift. Few wineries in Oregon that don’t already own seriously old vines like this have access to such a section of vineyard in one of the best Pinot Noir AVAs in America.
Durant Vineyard, Madrone Block Pinot Noir: The Madrone Block’s Dijon 115 planting creates a much different Pinot Noir than the Pommard Clone from the Bishop Block, and it is special enough to be bottled on its own. This block brings in the velvety texture that Dundee Hills Pinot Noirs can have without losing their sense of place. This wine is definitely deep in fruit and oozing with textural appeal. This borders right on sultry as all bottlings of this block have since we began producing it in 2012. Almost certainly, this is the single vineyard designate with the most upfront appeal to it. This will show sweet red fruits which are certainly a staple of the vintage with classic Dundee Hill sweet spices. Hard not to like.
Durant Vineyard, Chardonnay: In 2015 we revived our dormant Chardonnay program with fruit from Durant. We received Dijon Clone 95 from the upper part of the vineyard and Dijon Clone 76 from the lower part of the vineyard. Both sections were planted in the early to mid-1990s making them fully mature sections of vineyard. The Dijon 95 though is planted in the typical Jory (volcanic) soil of the Dundee Hills. However, the Dijon 76 is planted at much lower elevation down in marine sedimentary soil which is quite rare in the AVA. The combination of the two clones combined with the clearly different climate situations of the two blocks makes creating a beautiful and classic Chardonnay almost simple.
Co-owner/Winemaker, Patricia Green Cellars