The Potter’s Vineyard
Laura Volkman originally planted this 3.2-acre vineyard in 2001 in Newberg, Oregon, and released her first
wines in 2004. Laura quickly developed a loyal following over the years for her wines, but an unfortunate
illness forced her to sell her property just before harvest in 2012. The new owners, Sandy and Bill Sanchez,
are proud to carry on her legacy of producing premium Estate Pinot Noir.
The new owners initially learned about the vineyard and wines Laura created by working with Laura during the
2012 vintage harvest and winemaking process. They changed the label to “The Potter’s Vineyard” because the
vineyard property is also home to a pottery studio where Sandy and Bill craft hand made clay art. The new
label invokes the memory of the Laura Volkman label. The tasting room also features a Clay Art Gallery,
featuring the work of local artists including Patrick Noe, who created the ‘Vineyard Worker’ image on the new
Sandy is a learning specialist assistant at a local elementary school and Bill is a Ph.D. scientist with Diamond
V, a yeast culture manufacturing company. The couple are new to wine growing and winemaking but very
humble about their opportunity.
The Potter’s Vineyard is located in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, and is planted to Dijon 777, 114, 115 and
667, and Pommard clones of Pinot Noir in Jory and Laurelwood soils.
The first Potter’s Vineyard Pinot Noirs were released in May 2014, and are reviewed here. Tasting is available
by appointment and the traditional Willamette Valley weekend open houses Thanksgiving and Memorial Day
weekends. The website is www.pottersvineyard.com.
2012 The Potter’s Vineyard Dario Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., 220
cases, $28. Replaces Laura Volkman’s St. James Estate. Named after Portland icon Dario
Casciato. A blend of both Jacob and Rachel blocks of the vineyard. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 10
months in 25% new French oak and 8 months in bottle. Unfined and unfiltered.
purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of black cherry with an echo of oak. Juicy mid weight black
cherry core with a modest oak sheen. The tannins are balanced and there is some finishing
intensity. A fairly simple but enjoyable wine that is much more aromatic and flavorful the following
day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Decant if you must drink now.
2012 The Potter’s Vineyard Estate Reserve Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., 25 cases, $55. Replaces the Jacob and Rachel bottlings of Laura
Volkman. Primarily Pommard clone. 100% de-stemmed. Aged on lees 10
months in 100% new French oak, bottle aged for 8 months. Unfined and
Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Nicely perfumed with
deep, penetrating aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, rose petal, anise and
spice. Full-bodied, yet charming, with a rich core of darker stone and berry
fruits, cola and spice. Very Pommard in character. The fruit is wrapped in fine-grain,
supportive tannins, the texture is soft and seamless, and the finish has
some pleasing sap. Pleasurable now, but will benefit from another 6-12 months