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

Email:  winery@cristomwines.com
Cristom Vineyards is located between Salem and McMinnville
in the beautiful Eola Hills of the North Willamette Valley's prime wine country.  


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

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

     If Cristom Vineyards' 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 and gifted 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, viognier and syrah.  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 Cristom founders Paul and Eileen Gerrie to Oregon and the hills of what would be Cristom's home and Oregon's Eola-Amity Hills AVA.  Combining the names of their two children Christine and Tom, the Gerries established Cristom Vineyards, a place where the Cristom's Syrah vineyard - Eola-Amity Hills AVAsucculent pinot noir fruit could achieve full expression and hand-crafted, complex wines would be bold, yet balanced - both powerful and elegant.  Toward that end, winemaker Steve Doerner came to Cristom to lead the winemaking efforts where he 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 Doerner artfully coaxes nuanced wines of the pinot persuasion and of a global reputation.  As Doerner has pursued his passion, the Gerries have realized their vision of a world-class pinot noir winery.  Part of that vision came into focus when son Tom Gerrie enthusiastically stepped into the role of Cristom President as his parents moved on to a well-earned retirement. 

          "I believe Cristom’s greatest strength is the team that my parents have built over the past two decades. They have chosen remarkable people to help make Cristom into the winery it is today, and I am overwhelmingly grateful to be part of their team."

          Not much changes at Cristom Vineyards... the original talent in the winery and the vineyards carries on today as it did in the very beginning... and that's a very good thing.

      


General Information

Winemaker:   Steve Doerner
President/Co-Owner/Assistant Winemaker:
Tom Gerrie
Co-Owner: Christine Gerrie
Vineyard Manager:  Mark Feltz

Estate Vineyard Acreage
Eola-Amity Hills AVA:
  65 acres
 
Average Annual Production
12,500 cases per year
 
Products and Ordering:
Pinot noir, Syrah, Pinot gris,
Chardonnay and Viognier
 
Special events Wine bottle

Picnic Area   Wine bottle
with vineyard views     

Large Tasting Room  Wine bottle
Wine Clubs  Wine bottle 
"The Custom Club"
"The Original Club"
"The Ladies Club"
"The Red Only Club"

Join Mailing List Wine bottle        

Tasting Room Hours
Tues - Sun, 11 - 5 pm
Closed Major Holidays

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

Private, Guided Tasting:  $30 per person
Taste 6 - 8 wines, including three single-vineyard
Pinot Noirs and a three-year vertical of Sommers Reserve.
Tasting includes cheese & charcuterie.
To book a private, guided tasting, call 503-375-3068
or complete an online submission form

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

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    Add your name and address to Cristom's mailing list using the form at the bottom of Cristom web pages, or write, fax or send an email to start taking advantage of news about the current vintage and new releases.

 


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.  Six of 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.  More information here.


Click on image to enlarge.

 

2013 Estate Pinot Gris
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley
90 pts - Wine Spectator
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Overview:  The Cristom Pinot Gris is fermented in stainless steel tanks and does not spend any time in oak barrels.  It has a certain creaminess that comes from the several months that the wine spends on it lees.  Typically, the wine has bright citrus-blossom aromas that range from tangerine zest to lime blossom.  Apple, pear and melon are the fruit flavors that are often noted on the palate.  This is a bright and lively wine that offers a broad flavor profile.  It has a very natural affinity with food.

Winery Notes:  Made exclusively from Cristom's 5-acre estate vineyard.  The Cristom Pinot Gris is fermented in stainless steel tanks and does not spend any time in oak barrels.  It has a certain creaminess that comes from the several months that the wine spends on it lees.  Typically, the wine has bright citrus-blossom aromas that range from tangerine zest to lime blossom.  Apple, pear and melon are the fruit flavors that are often noted on the palate. This is a bright and lively wine that offers a broad flavor profile. It has a very natural affinity with food.  This tends to be a more food friendly version of Pinot Gris with uplifting acidity and great concentration.  First Vintage 1995.  Production about 1000 cases.

2013 Estate Viognier
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley
93 pts / Best Viognier of the Year - Wine and Spirits Magazine, Winter 2014

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Overview:  Cristom planted 1.25 acres of Viognier in 1993.The choice to plant it right away at Cristom was based on the success that Steve Doerner had with Viognier in California. There is very little Viognier planted in the Willamette Valley and Cristom’s now 20 year old vines are probably the oldest. In 2003 Cristom added 1.75 acres of Viognier that are adjacent to the original planting.

Winery Notes:  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 expect. 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.


2012 Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley
New Release
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Overview:  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.

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.


2011 Sommers Reserve Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley
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Overview:  Sommers Reserve is comprised of grapes from our four estate vineyards, along with some purchased fruit. It contains fruit from fourteen vineyard sites.  The Reserve designation indicates a longer aged barrel selection of our favorite lots. The final cuvee contains 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.

Winery Notes:  Sommers Reserve is crafted in the same style as our single-vineyard wines.  It is an elegant combined expression of the Cristom estate, with some variety created by small amounts of our purchased or traded fruit.  Sommers Reserve was known as "Cristom Reserve" until 2004 when Paul added "Sommers" to honor his paternal grandmother, Jessie Sommers.
 

2012 Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley
New Release

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Overview:  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.

Winery Notes:  This 9.5 acre site is the oldest of Cristom's estate vineyards, with planting begun in 1993.  It is planted at the high density of 2300 vines per acre. The volcanic soils are predominantly of the Ritner type. It
is Cristom's lowest elevation hillside vineyard. Curiously, the parking lot block of Louise is often the first
vineyard to be harvested at Cristom and the upper block of Louise is often harvested last because it
lies in a sun shadow just below the woodland on our hillside.


2012 Estate Syrah
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley
New Release
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Overview:  Cristom Vineyards' estate Syrah is produced from a small block we planted in 2002. It was the first Syrah planted in the Willamette Valley and remains among only three plantings of the varietal here. It has also developed a cult following due to its cool-climate character: peppery blue fruits, bright acidity and restrained alcohols for Syrah. It is treated as our Pinot Noirs are with a small portion of new French oak for a duration of 18 months.

Winery Notes:  From the first vintage in 2003, the hallmark of Cristom Vineyards Syrah has been a distinct black-pepper scent that transports your palate to the mid-Rhone valley. This inky purple, almost opaque, Syrah has the classic Syrah aromas of white pepper, spice, plums, leather, bacon fat and the slightest touch of tobacco leaf, along with a generous amount of dark black and blue fruits. There is also a hint of gaminess that continues from the nose onto the broad palate. In the mouth the wine is rich and generous without seeming over the top.

 


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

 


Finding Cristom Vineyards

Take the Ferry to Cristom

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

            Link to a map of winery locations in Oregon's North Willamette Valley             


Copyright © 1997- November, 2014   Susan R. O'Hara.  All rights reserved.
Last revised: 11/20/2014