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Winderlea Vineyard & Winery

Owner(s) Donna Morris, Bill Sweat
Web site www.winderlea.com
 
Link to this site
Winderlea Vineyard & Winery

The Winderlea (pronounced "Win-dur-lee") Vineyard was formerly known as the Dundee Hills Vineyard when it was first planted in 1974 by John and Sally Bauers. It was rechristened Goldschmidt Vineyard after the former Oregon governor who purchased the property in 1998. Located in the heart of the Dundee Hills adjacent to a portion of Maresh vineyard and across the street from Le Pavillon Vineyard along Worden Hill Road, this 16.5-acre vineyard has supplied grapes to some of the Willamette Valley’s most prominent wineries including Dusky Goose, Patricia Green Cellars, Penner-Ash, R. Stuart & Co., and Adelsheim Vineyard.

In 2006, Bill Sweat and Donna Morris, a wealthy East Coast couple from the financial-services industry, left the East Coast for Oregon and the next year bought the Goldschmidt Vineyard, renaming it Winderlea Vineyard. The name Winderlea is derived from a Vermont property the couple owned and is a German word loosely translated as “valley protected from the wind.” The husband and wife team developed a passion for Burgundies in the 1990s and found Oregon Pinot Noir was the next best thing. They brought on Robert Brittan, the winemaker at Stags Leap Winery for 16 years, to assist Bill and direct the new Pinot Noir program. Brittan himself bought 128 acres in the Willamette Valley, and plans to craft Pinot Noir and Syrah under his own label, Brittan Vineyards.

A stunning metal and glass tasting room and winery was built and positioned to take advantage of panoramic views of the Dundee Hills and the Willamette Valley to the East. The tasting room is environmentally friendly employing many passive energy management techniques including solar hot water and solar panels for much of their energy needs.

In 2008, Winderlea Vineyard earned LIVE and Salmon Safe certifications and in 2009 they began employing biodynamic practices to augment the existing organic farming methods.

For the full story on Winderlea Vineyard, consult the excellent article written by Jean Yates, proprietor of Avalon Wine, a top source for Oregon Pinot Noir: “Winderlea Vineyard. A Diamond in Oregon Wine’s ‘Gold Coast,’ “ at www.avalonwine.com/Winderlea-Vineyard.php.

The inaugural releases of Winderlea Pinot Noir were in 2006. Total production was tiny (a total of 575 cases) but will increase in the future as the owners retain more of their own fruit (according to Jean Yates, only Dusky Goose and Penner Ash Wine Cellars will still receive grapes after the 2006 vintage). These two wines are very impressive and this is a producer to latch on to for the future.

Winderlea Vineyard & Winery (officially Winderlea Wine Co.) Pinot Noirs are available from the website and from Avalon Wine in Corvallis. The tasting room offers panoramic views of the Dundee Hills appellation, and is open Memorial Day through Thanksgiving Weekend, Thursday through Monday from 11-4. All tasting fees are donated to Salud which provides health care to seasonal vineyard workers. 503-554-5900.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Winderlea Winderlea Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 751 cases, $60. Released May 2013. Pommard, Coury, 114, 115, 667 and 777 clones. Aged 10 months in 17% new French oak barrels. From a 20-acre vineyard first planted in 1974. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is replete with strawberry, cranberry, red cherry, dried herbs and hay aromas. Crisp and tangy on the palate with lighter weight flavors of dark red berries, spice, green tea and tarry oak. The dry tannins are powdery and the wine is easy to drink, but lacks fruit ripeness and power as a result of this cool vintage. Score: 87. Reviewed November 9, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Dundee Hills Vineyards Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $38. From three old vine vineyards in the Dundee Hills. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Essence of barely ripe red cherry fruit clothed in toasty oak. Modest richness, silky tannins and soft in the mouth. A standard issue Pinot Noir that leans heavy on oak. Decent. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Ana Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $48. This vineyard is located on a north-south ridge at 350 to 450 feet. Owned and farmed by Andy Humphrey, the vines are own rooted and date to 1976. Pommard and 777 clones. · Moderate light ruby red color in the glass. Cherries are the theme is this outstanding wine. Aromas of fresh pie cherry glaze and rose petals. The discreetly concentrated core of juicy cherries is accented with hints of exotic spices, clove and a kiss of oak. Soft and smooth in texture with gossamer tannins. Finishes with a flourish of cherries. Like cherry pie day at cooking school - cherries, baking spices and very interesting results. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Crawford Beck Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $48. Prominent scientists, David and Jeanne Beck, moved to Oregon from New Jersey in 2005 and bought a 48- acre property with 15 acres of vines in Jory soils. 11 acres of Pinot Noir are planted to 115, 60, Swan and Pommard clones. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose and palate feature dark red cherries and berries sprinkled with dried herbs and flower petals. Notes of forest floor and tar are also evident. On the lighter side, but juicy and pleasant with polished tannins. Good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Meredith Mitchell Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $48. Planted in 1988 by owners Susan Meredith and spouse Frank Mitchell on a 104-acre site located at 450 to 650 feet elevation in the Coast range foothills of the McMinnville AVA. The 25-acre vineyard is primarily planted to own-rooted Pinot Noir Pommard clone, with smaller blocks of Pinot Blanc (1996) and Pinot Gris (1995). Soils are rocky, broken basalt, sedimentary in type.The vineyard is managed by Susan and Frank. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of pie cherries with a fragrant floral note. Darker cherry, berry and plum flavors enter strong and finish long. The fruit is striking in purity and made me sit up straight in my chair. A welcome underlying cut of acidity urges another sip. Simply a great wine. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Murto Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $48. Located to the west of Winderlea Vineyard. Owned and farmed by Mike and Robin Murto. Planted in 1978 on a south-facing parcel at 400 to 700 feet elevation. Clones are Wädenswil, Pommard and 115. · Medium purple color in the glass. The nose is quite alluring with the scent of boysenberry jam. Deft balance between richness of black berry and plum fruit flavors, and acidity and tannins. Features the darkest fruit profile in the 2010 lineup. A thrust of citrus-infused berries is featured on the generous finish. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $48. Sourced from Block 21 on West Hill. Wädenswil and Pommard clones. · Moderately light reddishpurple color in the glass. Brimming with aromas of ripe red cherries and berries with complimentary oak. Plush in the mouth with an explosion of bright fruit on the mid palate, finishing like a three hour movie you don’t want to end. Admirable integration of oak which adds a touch of dark caramel and spice. The tannins are lacy and the acidity brings the fruit into focus. A complete wine. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Winderlea Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $54. Formerly the Goldschmidt Vineyard. 20 acres planted in 1974 in Jory soils. Ideal southwestern exposure. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. An aristocratic wine with upscale aromas of well-ripened black cherries and black raspberries. The intensely fruity palate features earth-kissed dark cherries, raspberries, plum and purple grapes. A citrus-infused acidity brings lift and vibrancy to the wine. Quite enjoyable now, but has the structure and balance to indicate it will benefit from further cellaring. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Winderlea Winderlea Legacy Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $75. This wine highlights the favorite characteristics of the estate vineyard. · Light reddish color in the glass. The nose offers a terrific blast of crushed cherry perfume with a hint of spice. Delicious essence of ripe, dark red cherries with a sidecar of raspberries and pomegranates. A citrus-laden underbelly brings the wine to life. Lacy tannins, well-integrated oak and an appealing elegance completes the picture. Like red lingerie, sure to attract attention. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Winderlea Vineyard & Winery Dundee Hills Vineyards Oregon Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $36. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromatics displaying scents of black cherries, violets and a hint of oak spice picking up intensity over time in the glass. A fruity wine with a tasty core of cherry and berry fruit accented by oak-driven flavors of anise, vanillin and smoke. A good snap of acidity brings up the refreshing finish. The most approachable of the three 2008 Winderlea wines. Still fine two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating it will last in the cellar. Good (+). Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Winderlea Vineyard & Winery Ana Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $50. Own-rooted vines planted in 1976 on a 350’ to 450‘ ridge. Pommard and 777 clones. Owned and farmed by Andy Humphrey. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed mix of berries with a strong scent of oak. Tasty core of red strawberries and raspberries and chocolate-covered cherries with an underpinning of oak char that fans out on the palate. Still a bit rough hewed and tannic, but offers some charming fruit that has good persistence. Should improve in the cellar as the tannins meld and the oak integrates further. Very good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Winderlea Vineyard & Winery Winderlea Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $53. From a 20-acre estate vineyard planted in 1974 (formerly Goldschmidt Vineyard). 480 foot elevation, southwest exposure, Jory soils. · Moderately light reddish-purple in the glass. Shy dark red fruit aromas with hints of baking spice, dried herbs and oak. Delicate flavors of red cherries, cranberries and red currants finishing with a hint of oak, green herbs, spice and grapefruit peel. A bit shallow on the mid palate and finish, leaving you wanting more. Soft and silky in the mouth with a lively grip of acidity. Picks up some charm over time in the glass. Still holding its own two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Tasted twice with consistent results. Good (+). Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Winderlea Vineyard & Winery Dundee Hills Inaugural Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2%alc., $50. Sourced from the Ana and Weber vineyards which are located next to Winderlea. These two vineyards are among the oldest self-rooted Pinot Noir vines in Oregon dating back to 1976. The clones are primarily Pommard and 777. · Lovely aromatics featuring ripe and deep red fruits that are nicely spiced with a touch of pear and rose petal. Deep cherry flavors accented with notes of cocoa and pear. Very smooth and stylish with soft tannins. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Winderlea Vineyard & Winery Goldschmidt Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $50. Labeled Goldschmidt Vineyard because the vineyard was still owned by Neil Goldschmidt in 2006. Clones 115, 667 and 777. · Heavily perfumed with deep, dark fruit, toast, and wild flowers. Dark red berries and cherries carry the theme with a subtle note of graham and oak, displaying a notable velveteen texture and a slight tart citric note on the pleasing finish. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »