Cristom Vineyards
6905 Spring Valley Road NW
Salem, OR  97304
 503-375-3068    
FAX:  503-391-7057

 

Email:  winery@cristomwines.com

Home Page:  www.cristomwines.com
 

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Depth, power and finesse...
The three-part harmony of Cristom wines

Pinot Noir and Beyond... the Cristom story        Winery's General Information

     If Cristom Vineyard's winemaking were music, harvest would be the trumpet fanfare, crush would be a symphony, and the final wines would be an ode to joy.  GracefullySteve Doerner, Cristom Vineyards winemaker conducting the music is world-acclaimed winemaker Steve Doerner whose intuitive style hallmarks his wines with harmony.

      Using natural methods, native yeast and minimal handling, Doerner combines new-world technology with old-world traditions to produce some of the Willamette Valley's finest wines... pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris and viognier.  He became familiar with these techniques and traditions during 14 years of fashioning fine wines in California before he came to Cristom in the early 90s.  Today, he is known internationally as a master of the world's most challenging and most rewarding grape... pinot noir.

      "Only pinot noir can give you a silky finesse that also has depth and power," Steve claims. "You can't achieve that harmony with other grape varieties."

       It was the promise of great wines that first drew owner's Paul and Eileen Gerrie to Oregon and the hills of what would be Cristom's home.  They conceived of a place where the succulent pinot noir fruit could achieve full expression, a place where hand-crafted, complex wines would be bold, yet balanced... both powerful and elegant. 

       Toward that end, Steve also plays an integral role in vineyard management and experimentation.  "It's all about finding ways to bring about the gradual and full ripening of the grapes," the seasoned Willamette Valley vintner notes as he describes various experimental canopy-management techniques being tested side by side in specific vineyard blocks.

         An abundance of soil types and sloping lands are the raw materials for the distinctive grapes thriving in Cristom’s estate vineyards; it is from these grapes that Steve Doerner artfully coaxes elegant and nuanced wines of the pinot persuasion and a global reputation.  As Steve has pursued his passion, the Gerries have realized their vision of a world-class pinot noir winery.


General Information

Winemaker:   Steve Doerner
Proprietors:  Paul & Eileen Gerrie

Vineyard Acreage, Eola Hills:
  65 acres
 
Average Annual Production
12,500 cases per year
 
Products and Ordering:
Pinot noir, Syrah, Pinot gris,
Chardonnay and Viognier
 
Tasting Room Hours
Tues - Sun, 11 - 5 pm
Closed Major Holidays
Call for Winter Hours
Special events Wine bottle

Picnic Area   Wine bottle
with vineyard views     

Large Tasting Room  Wine bottle
Wine Clubs  Wine bottle 

"The Original Club"
"The Four Ladies Club"
"The Red Only Club"
 

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Tasting Fee: $10 per person
Refundable with a purchase of wine
Nonrefundable for groups larger than eight

Groups are welcome with advance notice.
Please call Jeri in the tasting room to schedule visits.
(503) 375-3068



      Cristom Vineyards is located between Salem and McMinnville in the beautiful Eola Hills of the North Willamette Valley's prime wine country.  Visitors are invited to the tasting room March through December.  A gift shop is located on the premises. 
 

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Featured Cristom Wines
 

The Vineyards of Cristom

       Cristom cultivates eight distinct vineyards planted to Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Viognier and Syrah; currently a total of 65 acres are in production. The vineyards are dry farmed with the focus on quality fruit with low yields and high density planting.  Cristom's vineyards are named for family matriarchs.  The six ladies' vineyards each have natural variances in soil and elevation, and the grapes they nurture were selected to highlight each vineyard's distinct attributes.  People often identify a favorite among Cristom's 'ladies,' recognizing that each nurtures a style and flavor all her own.  In the end, each Cristom vintage produces a distinctive expression of the entire growing year, the specific site and the imprint of the winemaker's hand. 
 

2012 Germaine Chardonnay
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley

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Germaine is the name of our ½ acre estate Chardonnay vineyard.  It was planted in 1995 at the high density of 2300 vines per acre.  It is an east facing slope that is comprised of volcanic soil, mostly of Ritner and Nikia types.  Dijon clone 95 on 3309 rootstock was chosen as the plant material to insure ripening even in cooler vintages.  Most of our estate Chardonnay has been grafted over to Pinot Noir so we only make about 50-75 cases that are limited to the Cristom Cellar Club and the Cristom Tasting Room.

Origin: 100% Estate, Willamette Valley, Sub Appellation: Eola-Amity Hills
Clones: Dijon 95
Aging: 11 months in 60 gallon French cooperage, 33% new oak
Alcohol: 13.9%

Winery Notes:  Deeper-gold in color. Hazelnuts, caramel and a wet-stone minerality are evident on the nose of this medium-weight Chardonnay. Melon and peach come into play on the palate and echo into the finish. This wine goes best with good friends, so invite them over for something fresh, local and/or humanely raised from your local farmers market.  Steve Doerner’s Chardonnays have an uncanny ability to add complexity with age, but don’t let gambling on the long haul stop you from drinking it within a couple of years.


2012 Viognier
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley
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The Cristom Estate Viognier exhibits the pure, and nearly textbook, characteristics of this varietal, with aromas of orange blossoms, honeysuckle, clover and anise as well as the ripe fruit aromas of peach, apricot, and lychee. Round and viscous on the palate, the wine is drier than the exotic fruits on the nose would lead you to believe. The attendant alcohol of this varietal is very well integrated in this perfectly balanced wine. Bright and mouth-watering acidity support the fruit superstructure of this wine.

New Release.  Winery Notes and details coming soon.



2011 Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley
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89 pts - Stephen Tanzer International Wine Cellar

Produced since 1994, Mt. Jefferson Cuvee is regularly rated one of the most popular Pinot Noirs on restaurant wine lists across the country. Made with a blend of grapes from each of the estate vineyards, and top quality fruit traded or purchased from neighboring vineyards, the Mt. Jefferson Cuvee conveys a rich diversity of place, deserving of its reputation as one of the most expansive yet stylistically consistent Pinot Noirs in the world.

Origin: 79% Eola-Amity Hills, 11% Coastal Foothills, 8% Yamhill Carlton District, 1% Dundee
Clones: Dijon (113, 114, 115, 667, 777 and 828); Pommard & Wädensvil
Fermentation: Although this wine is made from many individual lots, they were generally fermented with 37% whole clusters. Native yeasts were used exclusively in open-top fermenters ranging in size from one to 12 tons.
Aging: Twelve months in French cooperage, 13% new oak
Bottling: Unfiltered on December 12, 2012
Alcohol: 13.2%
Total Acidity: 5.7 g/l
pH at bottling: 3.74
Production: 8569 cases produced

Winery Notes:  The Mt Jefferson Cuvée is the first of our six Pinot Noirs to be released each year and has been produced at Cristom since 1994. It is named for Mt Jefferson (10,501 ft) in the Cascade Range that is due east of Cristom and dramatically visible from our tasting room. Made with a blend of grapes from each of the estate vineyards, the Mt. Jefferson Cuvee conveys a rich diversity of place, deserving its reputation as one of the most expansive yet stylistically consistent Pinot Noirs in the world.

Aromas: Brooding deep Oregon-strawberry, pekoe-tea leaves, cola notes
Taste Impression:
 Great vitality & liveliness, core of seductive ripe fruit, very pretty & complete wine
Future:
 best in 3-4 years, but may pleasantly surprise you at 8-10 years


2010 Sommers Reserve Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley
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91 pts - Stephen Tanzer International Wine Cellar

Sommers Reserve is comprised of grapes from our four estate vineyards, along with some
traded or purchased fruit. It contains fruit from multiple vineyard sites that include seven
different Pinot Noir clones. Cristom introduced the “Sommers Reserve” with the 2004 vintage,
replacing the Cristom Reserve designation and continuing stylistically as the same wine.
‘Sommers’ is Jessie’s (of Jessie Vineyard) maiden name.

Origin: 87% Eola-Amity Hills (78% estate fruit), 6% Yamhill-Carlton, 5% Willamette Foothills,
2% Dundee Hills
Appellation: Willamette Valley
Fermentation: Although this wine is made from many individual lots, it is generally fermented with 38% whole clusters.  Native yeasts were used exclusively in open top fermenters ranging in size from one to seven tons.
Aging: Seventeen months in Burgundian cooperage, 49% new oak
Bottling: Blended and bottled unfiltered on March 24, 2012
Alcohol: 13.2%
Total Acidity: 5.4 g/l
Production: 2293 cases

Winery Notes:

Aromas: Cherry-cola, red forest berries, forest floor, a bit meaty
Taste Impression:
Red-velvet, camphor, sweet spice, balanced and very complete
Future:
Mid-term cellaring


2011 Marjorie Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley

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91 pts - Wine Spectator Insider
93 pts - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Marjorie Vineyard was planted in 1982. It is the only vineyard that Cristom kept when the property was purchased in 1992. It is a distinctive site that has wider spacing (630 vines per acre) than the subsequently planted vineyards. All the vineyards are planted on mineral-rich volcanic soils, but the soils of Marjorie have the highest percentage of the Jory type. Marjorie is also more east-facing than our other vineyard sites.

Origin:  100% Estate fruit
Clones:  Pommard and Wädensvil clones along with Dijon clones (114, 115, 777)
Sub Appellation: Eola-Amity Hills AVA
Appellation: Willamette Valley
Fermentation: 38% whole clusters
1 to 5 ton open-top fermenters
Native yeast used exclusively
Aging: 17 months, Burgundian cooperage
53% new oak
Bottling: Unfiltered on April 12th, 2013
Alcohol: 13.2%
Total Acidity: 5.9 g/l
pH at bottling: 3.69
Production: 363 cases

Winery Notes:

Aromas: Savory, earth, spice, sandalwood, creamy vanilla—toward Crème Brule,
very pretty
Taste Impression: Zesty, highly-detailed, higher-tone ripe red fruits with fine tannins
and a persistent finish
Future: Good cellar candidate for the mid-term, 6-8 years


2011 Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley
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92 pts - Wine Spectator Insider  

Eileen Vineyard tends to produce a wine that is the most precocious of our four estate vineyards and it’s often the first wine we release into the market. It is always the wine we show first in a line-up of Cristom Pinot Noir. We often find them softer, meaning rounder on the palate with less minerality. Typically, Eileen is textured, layered and creamy on the palate and often recognizable by its bouquet of sweet spices.

Origin:  100% Estate fruit
Clones:  Pommard and Wädensvil clones along with Dijon clones (114, 115, 777)
Sub Appellation: Eola-Amity Hills AVA
Appellation: Willamette Valley
Aging: 17 months, Burgundian cooperage, 45% new oak
Fermentation:  43% whole clusters; 1 to 5 ton open-top fermenters; Native yeast used exclusively
Bottling:
Unfiltered on April 3, 2013
Alcohol: 13.3%
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/l
pH at bottling: 3.82
Production: 648 cases

Winery Notes:  Perched high on a hill, Eileen Vineyard has a commanding view of the Cristom Estate, the Eastern Cascade Mountains, and the Western Coastal Range. The vineyard’s elevation soars from 540 to 705 feet, giving Eileen the highest elevation on the Cristom property. Eileen is also known for having the youngest vines: 16.6 acres of Pinot Noir were planted in 1997; in 2007, 4.52 acres of Wädenswil clone Pinot Noir were added. This gives Eileen the distinction of having the youngest vines on the farm and the largest planting. Named for Paul Gerrie’s wife (and co-owner of Cristom), Eileen Gerrie, the Eileen Single Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir was first released in 2000.

Aroma: sweet spices, vanilla-caramel, raspberry jam, and sandalwood
Taste Impression:  Highly detailed, supple, lots of ‘nervosity’, seductive
Future:
 very pretty now, but with good aging potential for the medium to long-term

2011 Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley
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Jessie Vineyard tends to produce Pinot Noirs that we recognize by a savory aroma that often calls to mind rare-beef. It also tends to have a very fresh and appealing scent of minerality, along with some higher tone lavender—purple flower notes. On the palate, Jessie tends towards a full mouth-feel and a deeper—darker—rounder impression. We find a certain ‘nervosity’ in this wine that describes some part of the tension between the ripe fruit and the structure of the wine.

New Release.  Winery Notes and details coming soon.

2011 Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley
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Louise Vineyard is typically the last single vineyard wine to be released. The wine is more heavily textured, dark-fruited and more concentrated in flavor than any of our other estate Pinot Noir. We often find creamy-mocha latte notes on the bouquet co-mingling with dark red fruits that are reminiscent of fresh mulberries, very ripe blackberries, plums and black cherries along with hints of chocolate. We recognize Louise by a delightful velvet texture and a full and persistent finish.

New Release.  Winery Notes and details coming soon.

 


To order any of our currently available wines
or those soon to be released:

 


Finding Cristom Vineyards

Map to Cristom Vineyards in the Eola Hills of Oregon's Willamette Valley

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Copyright © 1997- February, 2014   Susan R. O'Hara.  All rights reserved.
Last revised: 02/14/2014