Named for an ancient oak which towers over the vineyard - it was designated a surveyor's landmark in 1854 - Witness Tree is dedicated to the production of exemplary estate - bottled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Like many wineries in Oregon's Willamette Valley, Witness Tree Vineyard is a small producer of premium-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. But several things make them special.
First, they are 100% estate bottled. Every grape that goes into a Witness Tree wine has been grown on their property. This gives them complete control (at least as much as Mother Nature allows) over the quality of the fruit that comes into the winery to be made into wine.
Second, their site is exceptional and lies within a tremendously beneficial microclimate. Located nine miles northwest of Salem, in the area known as Eola Hills, they benefit from a southeasterly exposure which allows the site to warm earlier in the day. Add to that a protective ridgeline to their west and you have a combination of climate elements that facilitates earlier ripening of fruit than is found in many other vineyards. This is a major factor in the quality of their wines.
Third, there is a historical element of their winery and vineyards. The vineyard takes its name from an ancient oak tree used as a surveyor's landmark in 1854, during the Oregon Trail era. The tree was used to mark the Northwest corner of the original Donation Land Claim No. 51 and still stands today in their vineyard.
And finally, Steven Westby is their Winemaker and Vineyard Manager. Having worked hand-in-hand with their Winemaker Emeritus, Bryce Bagnall, for ten years at Witness Tree Vineyard, Steven has acquired an intimate knowledge and appreciation for the varied microclimates in the vineyard. His familiarity with the nuances of each separate lot of fruit grown on the estate qualifies him as one of Oregon’s most capable Winemakers. Enjoy!
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