"Good wine is made in the vineyard." Many would agree that this old adage continues to ring true. Quality wines are produced with quality fruit harvested from well-managed vineyard locations. At McKenzie Crest Wines we consider it a privilege to source fruit from hardworking growers all over Oregon and Washington. We simply act as diligent stewards from grape to glass.
Springfield, Oregon - Willamette Valley
McKenzie Crest Vineyard, one of the first in Springfield to provide grapes for commercial wine production, was planted in 2015 by Dan, Chris and the crew. This vineyard site produces 100% Marechal Foch and has been the figurative blank "canvas" upon which Chris and Dan practiced viticulture and crafted their first wines. Because this vineyard thrives on the eastern side of the I-5 corridor, 15 minutes east of Springfield, it is protected from the coastal winds that bring cooler conditions to much of the Willamette Valley. As a result, these vines enjoy a slightly warmer climate where grapes fully ripen in late September or early October. The location and dry farming practices result in decadently rich fruit that yields deep colored, purple-to-black juice.
Rickreall, Oregon - Willamette Valley
Rickreall, Oregon finds itself situated inside the Van Duzer Corridor sub-AVA of the Willamette Valley. The Van Duzer gap in the land's rolling hills allow oceanic winds to funnel into the Valley, creating a cooling effect that occurs as early as 2:00 in the afternoon. This breeze dries out the vine canopy and decreases fungus pressure, making the area highly attractive for grape growing and supporting sustainable practices by drastically reducing the need for fungus spray. The cooler temperatures ripen the fruit slowly, creating a longer hang time than for the same grape varietal grown in other regions. Thanks to the wind protection and longer hang time, the grape skins grow thicker, contributing to an abundance of color and tannin. These combined effects allow for near-perfect growing conditions with highly consistent quality.
Forest Grove, Oregon - Willamette Valley
Forest Grove, Oregon hugs the northwestern edge of the Chehalem Mountains sub-AVA. All three important hillside soil types are represented: basaltic, ocean sedimentary and loess (blown lake bed sediment), the predominant soil on the northern face of the Chehalem Mountains. With such diversity of elevations and soils, this region offers wines of great complexity and intrigue. The grapes harvested from this area often produce wines with defined structure, offering notes of strawberries and cherries in cooler vintages and darker fruit in riper years. While many cooler climate varietals prevail here (Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay) some warmer pockets have been proven to ripen varietals such as Tempranillo, which generally requires a longer hang time.
Roseburg, Oregon - Umpqua Valley
Roseburg rests in the beloved Umpqua Valley AVA. The Umpqua contains many microclimates due to the convergence of the Cascade and Coast mountain ranges and the Umpqua River. Given such a diverse range of climates, vineyards in the Umpqua can successfully grow both cool and warm varieties. McKenzie Crest produces wines from grapes planted in the warm microclimates with dry farming practices. The resulting wines are fruit forward with nuance. Umpqua Valley is where many on the McKenzie Crest crew first fell in love with wine and we count it a privilege to be able to produce wines from select vineyards.
Boyd, Oregon - Columbia Valley
Boyd, Oregon is a small slice of heaven located approximately 15 minutes south of The Dalles. Vines planted in this picturesque location fall within the Columbia Gorge area, a shared appellation between Oregon and Washington state borders. In this dry eastern region, conditions are optimal for planting a wide variety of grapes that produce rich wines. Exemplifying just how diverse this vineyard site is, you will find the cool climate favorite Pinot Noir, planted alongside a warm climate favorite, Merlot; with both varietals able to ripen and reach full maturity due to the long, warm days of the growing season. Truly a unique, perfect location for quality grape growing.
Dallesport, Washington - Columbia Valley
The highly esteemed Columbia Valley sees cold winters and long dry growing seasons with low humidity. The warm days and cool nights of the area help retain the balance of acid and sugar levels in the grapes, which give Oregon and Washington wines their characteristic balance in flavors. The longer hang time allows the grapes more time to develop maturity in tannins as well as other aroma and profile characteristics that will be brought out in the resulting wines. In Dallesport this vineyard site rests upon the cliffs of Washington, overlooking the Columbia River with Oregon in view. The location is ideal for producing warm climate varietals such as Barbera, Syrah, and Primitivo (Zinfandel).
Follow us online for updates and join in our ongoing journey!