If Oregon had Grand Crus...

which vineyards would you put on the list?

I get that this is a complicated question. for lots of reasons. lots of monopoles, not as much history behind it, a bunch of styles, etc, but I’m curious what others think.

My nominations would be (in alphabetical order):
Freedom Hill
Seven Springs
Possibly OV Eyrie, Bonshaw, Beaux Freres vineyard

I’m sure I’m missing a couple of them that I love. what would you add or take away?


It will be interesting to see how many of the suggestions are vineyards that follow the French model of having many producers for each vineyard, and how many will be monopoles.

I do think there will be some serious diversity in the opinions…

Also, Grand Cru for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, or all of them?


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Whistling Ridge
PGC - Bonshaw and Etzel Block
X Novo
Le Puis Sec
Temperance Hill (big vineyard so probably a sub-cru)
Balcome (1B block)
Clos Electrique
Abbey Ridge
Four Winds (for Chard)


While I love your first two picks(without making any kind of statement as to my opinion of them being or not being of hypothetical GC status), geographical continuity would suggest the planting at Beaux Freres is of a similar quality. The wines from that vineyard are lovely wines. It’s a remarkable trio of vineyards and the continuity of quality in them, given three completley different processes and evolutions is pretty magical to me.

Regardless of delineation of cru status, which I think Oregon could use(but lacks the monastical vow of poverty that would allow the actual act to be executed reliably), when day comes for me to hang it up,
Whistling Ridge will be the last site I make wine from.


haha I wasnt sure how to treat the varietal part of the question. I think its easier to answer the question for vineyards that have a French model for the same reason I think its easier in Burgundy as well…but that leaves out some pretty amazing vineyards if you dont include monopoles. it’s also difficult because some of these vineyards are large.

as for variety, I think at this point its definitely a Pinot and Chard discussion, and chard is even newer to the convo in reality than pinot. part of the reason I picked most of the vineyards on my list though is because I think they do both well though.

but of course, I would be really fascinated in what your choices would be!

edited to add after reading your response to Chris: I can see why you would choose Whistling Ridge as your desert island vineyard. it definitely has stood out to use in our house as a head above most others.

I like all these choices. im unfamiliar with Le Puis Sec though. Is Sojeau the same as Sojouner vineyard?

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Sojeau became the name of the Sojourner
Vineyard after a conflict with the original name came up.

And Les Puits Sec is the estate vineyard of Evesham Wood. An excellent terroir for sure!

And Whistling Ridge is such a unique site. It offers me opportunities to make wines that very few other Willamette Valley vineyards can, but it also restricts me from making wines that would be more typical. I don’t know how to categorize it, and I couldn’t pretend to not be biased.


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Whistling ridge (thanks Marcus + Megan :slight_smile: )
Not familiar with Eyrie’ vineyards but they have got to have one.

No doubt that is entirely true about Beaux Freres. I merely have not direct experience with the wines from that vineyard so didn’t include it.

Edit: I should have put Megan’s name first, now that Marcus is so famous he probably kicks back and makes her do all the work [snort.gif]


Actually, I think Jim Anderson had a plot of Grand Cru Pinot Gris, but he converted it to Chardonnay. [wink.gif]

Doesn’t everyone know that every vineyard in Oregon is both a Grand Cru site and the best vineyard in the state?



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That’s an awesome quasi-inside joke. No idea how many people will get that here.

Exception that proves the rule!

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If Oregon had Grand Crus it would stifle exploration and innovation, not to mention distort pricing. Let’s wait at least another century, preferably four.

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and every year is the vintage of the century! wait… are we in Bordeaux??

oh for sure it will never happen. St Emilion has already shown us just how well new hierarchy laws go in the current timeframe. I’m more just wondering what peoples thoughts are in general and how much everyone agrees (or disagrees) or if there are vineyards that should be on our radar that aren’t!

After our experience last night, I would agree with the vote for XNovo.

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However, it seems to me part of the issue with X-Novo not having wider recognition is the fact that it’s very small and locked down by Walter Scott. So, no other vintners have access to the fruit, thus current opinions on it’s potential are limited?

That said, I do agree it should be in the running as one of, if not THE, best vineyards in the WV.

+1 also on SSV mentioned above.


Whistling Ridge, especially the older block.
BF Vineyard
Whatever the new Goldschmidt vineyard is called.
Le Puits Sec

I have always thought White Rose had something special to it.


Ha! Did they ever sell the fruit or was it purely a tax thing