Raptor Ridge Estate’s Tuscowallame Vineyard is located in Oregon’s beautiful Chehalem Mountains about 25 miles southwest of Portland. The vineyard site slopes east-southeast with sweeping views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams—and on a very clear day, even Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier. At about 500 feet in elevation, this gently sloping land is frequently visited by red tailed hawks, Peregrine falcons, barn owls, and great horned owls. Tuscowallame is an indigenous word meaning “place where the owls dwell.”
Purchased in 2000, the site was a defunct cherry orchard. A year was spent digging out over 2000 cherry trees, ripping and cross ripping the soils to remove ancient cherry roots. The vineyard was planted in three phases, and each block is named for the vineyard manager who planted it. Adalfo’s Block was planted in 2001 by Adalfo Jimenez and was a ‘test block’ with a field blend of 115, 667, and 777 clones of Pinot noir and 1.5 acres of Grüner Veltliner. Macario’s Block was planted by Macario Ramirez in 2004, and contains Pommard, 667, and 777 clones of Pinot noir. Dustin’s Block was planted in 2007 by Dustin Miller, and contains Pommard and 114 clones of Pinot noir. Elevations range from 250 to 498 feet on our Loess-based Laurelwood soils with Jory underlayment.
Our estate Pinot noir is noted for its silky texture, fine-grained tannins, Italian plum, cherry, black pepper and mineral notes. Tuscowallame Pinot noir may be found in many of our cuvees, such as Trig, Flight Club Select, Reserve, and Willamette Valley. Our first vintages from the estate were released as Adolfo’s Block 2006-2010. Since 2011, we have blended the now-mature Macario and Dustin blocks with Adolfo’s to achieve a 500+ case Estate bottling.
Our estate Grüner seems to exhibit varietally correct nuances of lime citrus and minerality with a round silky palate thought to result from the Loess-based soils. To quote one of our esteemed distributors regarding our Estate Grüner Veltliner, “Hmmm…this bodes well for New World Grüner.” The Grüner may be found in our Estate bottling, sold mostly through the tasting room and Flight Club.
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