Blakeslee Vineyard History
Formerly known as Quail Hill Vineyard, this highly regarded estate was purchased by Bill and Sheila Blakeslee in 2005. The Blakeslee Vineyard Estate has been producing top quality Pinot Noir grapes for over 13 years. This property is potentially one of the Chehalem Mountains best vineyard sites. The vineyard is situated on the South side of the Chehalem Mountain AVA at an elevation of 500’ to 550’. We sit on a North/South slope and the vineyard crowns East to West, where we can capture the long cool morning sun and the hotter shorter afternoon exposure. We farm sustainably and are in the middle of the “Live” Certification process, which will be completed with the 2012 harvest. We are 100% dry farmed and have learned through expert vineyard management and very experienced wine making techniques to handle the various curves balls thrown by Mother Nature each year. The vines are planted in Laurelwood soil (a powdery volcanic soil) atop a hard clay sub-soil. This unique combination of soils along with premium Pinot Noir clones – Dijon 115 (10 acres) and Pommard (5 acres), and expert vineyard management results in unique and distinctive wines.
Historically, the estate produced Filberts and Christmas trees through the 1970’s and 1980’s. During the late 1990’s the property was converted to Pinot Noir grapes. In 1998, winemaker Patricia Green of Torii Mor Winery was recognized by Wine Spectator for producing Oregon’s first bottle of $100 Pinot Noir. The grapes for that benchmark achievement had been sourced from this vineyard through 2005.
The Blakeslee’s acquired the 20 acre estate in 2005 with the intention of managing it and selling the fruit. Their first vintage as a winery in 2006 was unintentional, and resulted from a trade with another winery of fruit for bottled wine. Robert Brittan joined the Blakeslee team as winemaker starting with the 2010 vintage. He has over 30 years of experience growing grapes and making wine in Napa Valley for Far Niente, Saint Andrews and Stags’ Leap Winery. The wines are produced at Britt Hill Winery in McMinnville, Oregon.
The Estate tasting room has opened. The “Grand Opening” is scheduled for the weekend prior to Memorial Weekend 2013. Check the website for more information on the News & Events page, and click this link to register to become a Wine Club Member.
Map & Directions to Blakeslee Vineyard Estate