making wine was put to music, harvest would be the trumpet fanfare. It marks an
end to months of methodical work in the vineyards and heralds new beginnings.
A calendar year becomes a vintage ... raw fruit becomes fine wine. If the crush
were a symphony, Cristom winemaker Steve Doerner would conduct it with graceful,
almost intuitive movement. He grew familiar the rhythm during 14 years of fashioning
fine wines in California. Today he is acclaimed internationally as a master of
the world's most challenging ... and most rewarding grape: the Pinot Noir.
Steve: "Only Pinot Noir can give you a silky finesse that also has depth and power.
You can't achieve that harmony with other grape varieties."
At Cristom that harmony is hallmark. In the winery, Steve blends contemporary
technology with age-old winemaking traditions. Native yeasts transform the juice
into wine. Gravity guides it from tank to barrel. The rich, new wine is allowed
to mature slowly in cool, subterranean cellars. The wines are unfiltered. Only
the finest barrels are blended into finished wines.
Steve: "A winemaker's job is to optimize what nature, the vineyard provides. It
all starts there." From the first clip of the pruning shears on a rainy January
morning, Cristom Vineyard Manager Mark Feltz insures that every vine of the Cristom
estate produces the finest fruit, vintage after vintage. Stitched into the earth
above the winery are row after row of the finest French clones of Pinot Gris.
It is a high density planting: 2,300 vines in a single acre force roots deep into
the hillsides and intense flavors into the fruit.
Mark: "These vines really set Cristom apart. There aren't many New World vineyards
that can claim this kind of diversity." It was the promise of great wines that
first drew Paul and Eileen Gerrie to Oregon and these hills.
They conceived of a place where the succulent Pinot Noir fruit could achieve it's
fullest expression - complex, hand crafted wines that are bold yet balanced: both
powerful and elegant. It is a wine that evolves as it ages, revealing ever grater
richness and complexity with time.
The abundance of soils and slopes here defined the Gerrie's vision of world class
Pinot Noir. The warm winds of summer held the promise of rich Chardonnay: The
cool sunny autumn yielded tart Pinot Gris.
A place embodied a vision. A family assembled a team. Experience focused on a
future ... and Paul and Eileen Gerrie named it all after their children, Christine
and Tom. If their wines were music, they would be an ode to joy.
Cristom Vineyards / 6905 Spring Valley Rd. N.W. / Salem, Oregon 97304