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Le Cadeau Vineyard
November 14, 2019 | Le Cadeau Vineyard

Le Cadeau Vineyard in The Somm Journal


We were honored to host publisher and writer Meredith May to Le Cadeau Vineyard this summer. She was able to visit our tasting room and tour our unique 16-acre vineyard atop Parrett Mountain in the Chehalem Mountains AVA.

You can read her write up of the experience in the October/November 2019 issue of The SOMM Journal by clicking the link. (We're on pages 108-109.)


Interested in the wines she sampled? Get them here:


From Meredith: 

Le Cadeau Vineyard 2017 Rocheux Pinot Noir ($50) - From winemaker Jim Sanders, it offers up a woodsy note of tree sap, coriander, raspberry, and cherry. 90


From Meredith:

Le Cadeau Vineyard 2017 Cote Est Pinot Noir ($50) - An expression delivering earth, spice, and cherry-cedar underbrush from winemaker Steve Ryan. Vibrancy is key to the weighty palate, which presents salted mocha and bright fruit. 93


From Meredith:

Le Cadeau Vineyard 2017 Diversite Pinot Noir ($50) - Made by Sanders, it shows redder fruit followed by roses and mushroom. Sharp, tart, and edgy, with spiced flowers, cinnamon stick, and cherry. 93


From Meredith:

Le Cadeau Vineyard 2016 Trajet Reserve Pinot Noir ($80) - A whole-cluster Pinot Noir from Ryan with a spice-box nose and palate. Sassafras, green tea, fennel, and plum skin make this Mortimer's most ageworthy wine. 94

This vintage is not yet available online. You can try the 2014 vintage here or the 2015 vintage here.


Time Posted: Nov 14, 2019 at 11:10 AM Permalink to Le Cadeau Vineyard in The Somm Journal Permalink
Le Cadeau Vineyard
August 22, 2019 | Le Cadeau Vineyard

A Few Words on Witzel

We recently hosted a great group of writers at the Le Cadeau estate vineyard, where owner Tom Mortimer shared a lot information on soil, clones, and the history of the video. Check out this video for a few words on the special Witzel soil type we have here on the southern tip of Parrett Mountain.

Vineyard tours are available by appointment and are a great way to connect with our beautiful wines. Contact info@lecadeauvineyard.com for more information.

Time Posted: Aug 22, 2019 at 1:32 PM Permalink to A Few Words on Witzel Permalink
Le Cadeau Vineyard
August 20, 2019 | Le Cadeau Vineyard

Veraison at the Vineyard

veraison at le cadeau vineyardVeraison at the vineyard!

Portions of our vineyard have begun this distinctive color change that signals the onset of ripening. During veraison, the vine transports energy stores from the roots into the grapes. Acid levels begin to fall and chlorophyll is replaced by anthocyanins (in red grapes) or carotenoids (in white grapes), as well as sugars and other nutrients. It's also really pretty. 

Next stop: harvest!

Time Posted: Aug 20, 2019 at 5:54 PM Permalink to Veraison at the Vineyard Permalink
Le Cadeau Vineyard
June 17, 2019 | Le Cadeau Vineyard

The History of Le Cadeau Vineyard: The Oregon Dream

In 1995, Tom Mortimer acquired a small recycling business in Dundee, Oregon. While his day job in the paper and packaging industry continued in Minneapolis, he and his wife, Deb, would make occasional weekend trips to Oregon’s Willamette Valley to meet with their Dundee business partner. They soon fell in love with the beauty of Oregon wine country and began to dream the Oregon Dream: living there and owning a premium Pinot noir vineyard. 

They began looking for Willamette Valley property in 1996 and, a year later, found an uncultivated 28-acre parcel on the south slope of Parrett Mountain just a few miles east of Newberg in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The property felt right. Nothing grew there other than poison oak, blackberries, and scrub oak. Over-grown brush obscured any sense of the valley below. Not to be deterred, Tom said to Deb, “I think this will make a great vineyard for Pinot noir!”

Her response: “How would you know?”

The Mortimers worked with consultants and borrowed wisdom and insight from a few Oregon winemakers they had befriended. They quickly discovered the site was incredibly rocky. One vineyard adviser commented, “I have no idea how you’re going to get posts into the ground!”

After monitoring site temperatures for a month, another consultant gave the climate thumbs-up: the temperatures at the site were consistent with other high-quality Oregon Pinot noir vineyards. Harry Peterson-Nedry (owner and winemaker of Chehalem wines) provided encouragement by saying, “The rocks are very exciting!”

The land had never been cultivated, so it needed to be cleared. The first ten acres of land were cleared during the summer of ’97 and eleven additional acres a year later. An incredible view south to Salem and the Eola hills emerged. 

In the spring of 1999, Diane Kenworthy, then the vineyard manager for Oregon Grape Management, planted the first six acres. The initial plantings of Pinot noir included roughly 1.75 acres each of Pommard clone and Dijon clones 667 and 777. In addition, a ¾ acre east-facing parcel was planted as a mixed-clone block consisting of Mariafeld (a Swiss Pinot noir clone), Pommard, and Dijon clones 777, 113, and 115. That section of the vineyard was established as a rootstock test site, planted with different Pinot noir clones on different rootstocks: 3309, 101-14, Riparia Glore, and 4453.

Over dinner one night, Tom asked Diane, “How do you know if you have a good site, or a mediocre site?”

She replied, “Oh, that’s easy, just plant it and wait 10 years!”

Which is exactly what the Mortimers did.

The 2002 Le Cadeau Pinot Noir was bottled in January of 2004 and released in June of 2005, eight years and four months after the property was purchased. Confident the vineyard would produce excellent wines, the Mortimers planted an additional 4 acres of Pinot noir that year--Dijon clones 114 and 115--bringing the total vineyard size to 10 acres of grapevines.

Since then, Le Cadeau has continued to add new plant material and increased the number of vines per acre. Plantings now include traditional heritage clones of Pinot noir, some of which debuted in the U.S. in the late 1800’s. 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, Le Cadeau is testing 420A rootstock, a fickle rootstock known for the desirable combination of drought resistance, extremely low vigor, retaining leaves late into the season, and great vine balance.

Time Posted: Jun 17, 2019 at 3:17 PM Permalink to The History of Le Cadeau Vineyard: The Oregon Dream Permalink