Our newest single vineyard Pinot Noir that we released this past spring is dubbed Swan Song and is born of a dying vineyard. The vines in this block, which faces east from the highest section of our estate with views of the area’s three great volcanoes – St. Helens, Adams and Hood – are shrinking every year due to the scourge of phylloxera that laid waste to the great vineyards of Europe in the 1800s.
Phylloxera is a tiny, sap-sucking insect that feeds on roots and leaves of the grape vines and eventually causes an infection in the root stock causing the vines to eventually deteriorate and die. Oregon was once isolated from this pest, but it eventually came to the new world, forcing Oregon’s early vineyards to be replanted with resistant rootstock. With yields dwindling every year, we are seeing the last few vintages of this vineyard and, hence, its swan song.