Founders Deb and Tom Mortimer began looking for Willamette Valley property in 1996. A year later they found an uncultivated parcel on the south slope of Parrett Mountain, just a few miles east of Newberg, Oregon, in the Chehalem Mountains AVA.
Ten acres were cleared in 1997 and eleven acres in 1998. An incredible view south to Salem and the Eola hills emerged.
In 1999, six acres of Pinot noir were planted. The initial plantings included roughly 1.75 acres each of Pommard and Dijon clones 667 and 777. A ¾-acre mixed-clone block of Mariafeld (a Swiss Pinot noir clone), Pommard, and Dijon clones 777, 113, and 115 was also planted. Subsequent plantings of Pommard and assorted heritage clones from California increased the size of the vineyard to its current sixteen acres.
From the beginning, the character of Le Cadeau Vineyard was apparent. The aromatics were fresh and intense. The fruit flavors were pure and deep. There were hints of Asian spices mingled with an earthiness not often found in young Pinot noir wines. Those core characteristics remain today, regardless of the vintage or the winemaking.
Truly extraordinary winemakers from Oregon and beyond have collaborated with Le Cadeau and made excellent wines, but increasingly the adage rings true: Great Pinot noir is made in the vineyard. New clones and rootstocks have been added while farming practices have been pushed to ever-higher standards. As we move into our second decade of winegrowing in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, we’re confident that our best wines are yet to come.
Le Cadeau Pinot noir is all about this very special and unique vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains. We showcase various attributes of the vineyard–clones, soils, and aspect–by bottling small production cuveés from different sections of the vineyard.