The Eyrie Vineyards | Oregon

A misty morning sunrise at The Eyrie Vineyards in the Dundee Hills, Oregon

Eyrie Vineyards founder, the late David Lett, was convinced that the climate of Oregon's Willamette Valley was potentially perfect for growing Pinot noir; but exactly where was the best place to put down roots? Back in 1965, David had the whole valley to choose from and so he conducted an exhaustive review of the regional climate and soil structures and criss-crossed the valley from side to side and top to bottom looking for his perfect vineyard site.

In 1966, David finally found what he was looking for - a gentle 20 acre south-facing slope at the south end of the Dundee Hills. In the autumn of that year David and his new wife Diana began the process of pulling out the old trees in the derelict orchard and preparing the ground. They then moved the young grape plants up from their temporary nursery site in Corvallis, where the previous year David had planted the regions first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines and the first "New World" Pinot Gris.

Inspired by a pair of red-tailed hawks who made their nest (eyrie) in the fir trees at the top of the vineyard site, David and Diana christened their fledgling endeavour The Eyrie Vineyard. This original planting was to be the first of their five estate vineyards and since then the Eyrie Vineyards name has become synonymous with modest yet visionary people, producing some of the region’s most elegant and long-lived wines.

Today little has changed, bar perhaps better understanding of what makes these wines so unique. There remains a deep connection between the work in the vines and the wines in the cellar. Jason, David’s son, has been at the helm since 2005 and has made minor tweaks that contribute to greater precision in the wines. The resulting style of the wines, across whites and reds, is one governed by this patient, hands-off winemaking and articulated in a series of gentle and elegant, yet generous and famously age-worthy wines.