One January evening in 2014 Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr, at the winery to choose the final blends, decided to taste through all the barrels - effectively looking at the vineyard from top to bottom. The blocks at the very top of the vineyard, planted to Dijon clones and rising to 700 feet in elevation, quickly set themselves apart. Here soils are rockier and vines are exposed to Pacific breezes via the Van Duzer Gap. The combination of these conditions give a layered, complex and age-worthy wine – dare we say it a benchmark Oregon Pinot.
The Willamette Valley in Oregon is often compared to Burgundy, for the challenging growing conditions, varietals planted, and the quality-minded smaller-scale producers that have chosen to work here. So it's not surprising that winemaker Sashi Moorman and super sommelier Rajat Parr, who bonded over their love for elegant European wines, decided to base their second joint venture here.
Evening Land is based around a special vineyard in Seven Springs, in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA just north of Salem. The vineyard was established in 1984 under the direction of Burgundian legend Dominique Lafon. The east-facing site with iron-rich rocky volcanic soils was mainly planted with Pinot Noir, plus some Chardonnay and Gamay, ripening is moderated by cool air from the Pacific channelled via an opening in the Oregon Coastal Range.
Just like in Burgundy terroir is key to this project - the different cuvees are all clearly defined despite coming from the same vineyard. The unique soil, aspect and terroir of each parcel shines through.
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