Patton Valley Vineyard was founded in 1995 by Monte Pitt and Dave Chen in Oregon's Willamette Valley. It is a producer of estate-grown, sustainably-farmed Pinot Noir.
At Patton Valley, their singular focus is to grow wines that are worthy of your consideration, that speak to where and how they were made, and that make you smile. Through careful stewardship of their land and utilization of sustainable farming and business practices, they look forward to bringing you fine hand-crafted wines for years to come.
Patton Valley Vineyard got its start in Chicago, in the early 1980′s. Graduate students Dave Chen and Monte Pitt divided their time between their studies at Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg School of Management and the windy city's great wine shops, all the while dreaming of starting a winery together. After graduation they parted ways, heading to separate coasts, but their passion for wine continued to grow.
Monte seized every opportunity to visit Dave in Oregon, where he combed the Willamette Valley for the perfect vineyard site for growing world-class Pinot Noir grapes. That search was guided by terrior. Loosely translated as "a sense of place," the concept suggests that a vineyard's characteristics—its soil, elevation, and topography—contribute to the unique qualities of its wine, especially Pinot Noir. After more than two years and visits to nearly 50 sites, they landed in Gaston, Oregon, where they purchased an abandoned orchard planted with 72 acres of cherry and prune trees.
When it was time to plant the vineyard, Dave and Monte consulted with Alan Holstein. One of the outstanding viticulturists in the valley, Alan cleared 40 acres of old orchard trees from the top of the site and laid the vineyard out according to the site's soil. In 1997, the first 10 acres of Patton Valley Vineyard were planted.
Located in the northern reach of the Willamette Valley, the vineyard is situated on a hill with views of Patton Valley to the southwest and the Tualatin Valley to the east. This is a 72-acre parcel with the ideal combination of soil, exposure and elevation. The vineyard currently consists of 24 acres planted to a diverse selection of Pinot noir clones (Dijon, Pommard, Wadenswil). The Laurelwood soils of the upper 40 acres at Patton Valley are well drained, with low to moderate fertility, perfectly suited for growing grapes. Patton Valley is planted with three rootstocks—3309 (low-moderate vigor), 101-14 (moderate vigor) and Riparia Gloire (low vigor). The vineyard employs various canopy management techniques, including shoot positioning, leaf pulling and cluster thinning, to ensure healthy, ripe grapes.
The goal at Patton Valley is to carry the distinctive qualities of their estate-grown fruit through to the finished wine. By marrying traditional winemaking techniques with a sensible dose of technology, Patton Valley is able to achieve this harmony.
The Old World approach is "hands off," letting the fruit speak for itself. Traditional practices include hand-harvesting, natural yeast for fermentation, punching down caps by hand, using a basket press, and using gravity and inert gas to move the wine to French barrels. New World technology is favored in sanitation practices to enhance wine consistency. The conveyor table, used for hand-sorting grapes to remove under-ripe and damaged fruit, and the de-stemmer, which removes the stems without crushing the fruit, are examples of other tools that enable the winery to produce a more stable, higher quality wine, without sacrificing the personality of the fruit.