Evesham Wood was founded by Russ and Mary Raney in 1986. After a comprehensive search throughout the Willamette Valley, they chose a site for the estate vineyard, “Le Puits Sec” (French for “the dry well” which we have in the vineyard). There they planted eight acres, three of Pinot Noir (Pommard clone), two each of Chardonnay (108 clone) and Pinot Gris (Colmar clones) and one of Gewurztraminer. Since then, four and one half acres have gradually been added (1.5 ac. of 3 Dijon clones of Pinot Noir, 1 ac. of 3 Dijon clones of Chardonnay, and one ac. Pinot Gris, as well as small plantings of the German variety, Rieslaner and the Austrian variety, Gruener Veltliner). In addition, the original two acres of Chardonnay were grafted over to Pinot Noir in 1999.
The gently sloping, east-facing vineyard is tightly-spaced and nestled on a low terrace (300-420 ft. elevation) on the eastern side of the Eola-Amity Hills ridge. This area, known locally as “Spring Valley”, has already proven to have one of Oregon’s best micro-climates for the production of fine wines from Burgundian and Alsatian varieties. It is here that the rather shallow volcanic basalt soils allow us to achieve the low yields we seek for wines of great intensity and complexity. As well, it is the uniqueness of this “terroir” that gives Le Puits Sec wines their signature.
It was also in 1986 that Evesham Wood first produced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, using grapes purchased primarily from Temperance Hill & Seven Springs vineyards, two fine Eola Hills sites very near (and with similar soil composition) to our own. We continue to purchase fruit from Temperance Hill, as well as from four other quality sites: Mahonia, located in the South Salem Hills, Illahe, a warm site in the foothills of the coast range, Hidden Rocks in the north east section of the Eola Hills, and Eola Springs, on the west side of the Eola Hills ridge. We currently purchase Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for about half of our 5,500 case annual production, with the remainder of wine production from these varieties coming from our estate vineyard. Additionally, our Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer are produced exclusively from estate-grown fruit.
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