The most pure, intense, and expressive fruit is grown in places that barely ripen a crop. This is a result of the fruit maturing in cooler temperatures, which helps preserve flavors and acidity. In temperate climates, ripening occurs under the waning hours of autumn days, as well as the duress of imminent season-ending frost. Gran Moraine’s vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA of Oregon allow the Burgundian varieties Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to achieve ripeness under these ideal conditions.
The climate of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA combined with the sedimentary rock–based soils of our growing sites produces wines with nuanced fruit and earth characters driven by ageable tannins that are structured yet elegant when young. The fruit is picked at a point thought to best express the profoundness of both the site and the vintage. After hand harvesting, it is brought at most a mere 15-minute drive to our winery.
At the winery, the fruit is hand sorted before careful processing in which our Pinot Noir is fed by gravity into open-topped tanks. Depending on the vintage, block, and clone, the fruit is left for a cold maceration period of three to eight days. During fermentation, we use punchdowns as our primary method of cap management. At the end of alcoholic fermentation, the wine is racked to 100 percent French oak barrels for maturation and slowly undergoes natural malolactic fermentation.
The end result is a wine we are confident showcases our tireless attention to detail in both the vineyard and the winery. We believe these wines are a true expression of the vintage, the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and the culture of Oregon’s north Willamette Valley.