The Future of Le Cadeau (2015-)
We’ve had the good fortune to work with truly extraordinary winemakers. All have made excellent Pinot noir from Le Cadeau Vineyard fruit. But increasingly we’ve come to believe in the addage: Great Pinot noir is made in the vineyard. That’s not in any way to diminish the importance and contribution of winemaking; but the reality is, if the flavors and structural properties are not in the fruit to begin with, most of the time they won’t be in the wine!
A few years ago we made a commitment to push our plant material, root stocks, spacing, pruning, crop levels, cluster counts and selection, and overall farming practices to the highest possible standards. We’ve invited Daniel Roberts, one of the top viticulturalists in the world, to work with our vineyard management team to fine-tune every aspect of the vineyard.
Beginning with the 2006 plantings, and in particular our final 1.5-acre addition in the Fall of 2008, we’ve added new plant material and increased the number of vines per acre. Our plantings now include traditional “heritage” clones of Pinot Noir, some of which debuted in the U.S. in the late 1800′s. Our most recent planting of the warm Southwestern part of the vineyard is comprised primarily of certified-Swan Pinot noir clone. This is also known as clone UCD-97, and is likely the first certified-Swan to be planted in Oregon. In addition, we’re testing 420A rootstock. It’s fickle, but it is known for the desirable combination of drought resistance, extremely low vigor, retaining leaves late into the season, and great vine balance.
With respect to vineyard farming, we’re investing heavily in shoot positioning. With 20,000 grapevines planted, the seemingly simple decision to clip shoots to trellis wires – 4 to 6 clips per vine – translates into the hand placement of 80,000 to 120,000 clips, one at a time… each season. But to grow great Oregon Pinot noir, these are the things that must be done.
In 2012 we’ll have fruit from our 2008 Pinor noir plantings. A year later we’ll have wine, and after two or three years of bottle age – around 2015 – we’ll experience the next generation of Le Cadeau Vineyard wine. We look forward to having you join us on this journey!