Who are Jory and Willakenzie? They are in part responsible for the world-renowned quality of Oregon Pinot Noirs. Neither vintners, nor grape growers, Jory and Willakenzie are not people at all. They are two soils found in Willamette. According to Cole Danehower, author of the book, Essential Wines and Wineries of the Pacific Northwest, Jory is a volcanic soil that gives its Pinot Noir red fruit aromas, silky texture and a hint of minerality. It is found mainly in the valley vineyards. Willakenzie is a sedimentary soil made up of marine sandstone and silt. It gives its Pinot Noir dark fruit aromas, along with aromas of earth and herb. This soil is found at higher elevations.
Willamette Valley is where 75% of Oregon’s vineyards are located. It is part of the cool region of Oregon. The grapes for which this region is best known are Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The warm regions of Oregon are found to the south, in Rogue and Umpqua Valleys as well as to the northeast in Walla Walla. These regions are known for warm climate grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tempranillo.
Matthew Compton moved from New Jersey to Willamette Valley Oregon, originally to manage vineyards. He moved into wine production a little over 10 years ago. Spindrift Cellars in Philomath Oregon is certified sustainable. Compton’s focus is mainly on Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, though he does produce some Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Syrah as well. He sources from both valley and hill vineyards using grapes with both Jory and Willakensie influence.
Spindrift Pinot Gris, 2013 Aromas of apple, citrus, grapefruit with a crisp, refreshing finish.
Spindrift Rosé, 2013 78% Pinot Noir, 22% Pinot Gris Aroma of watermelon with a Southern France minerality on the finish.
Spindrift Pinot Blanc, 2013 Tropical fruit aromas with a hint of oak
Spindrift Pinot Noir Croft Vineyard, 2011 Aromas of spicy cherries, oak and smoke. Light body, organically grown grapes. 12 months in oak, 25% new.
Spindrift Pinot Noir, 2012 Sourced from five different vineyards, all Willamette. Aromas of sweet cherry, almond, tang with some bittters on the finish.
Spindrift Pinot Noir, Lewisburg Vineyard, 2010 Medium bodied. Earthy, dark fruit with spice and minerality.
Spindrift 7 Hills Syrah, 2010 Sourced from Walla Walla in Northeast Oregon. Sustainable. Aromas of bacon, pepper, dark fruit.
Matthew Compton’s wines have garnered high point ratings from both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, especially his Pinot Noirs often rating in the 90’s. It is the Spindrift Pinot Noirs that so beautifully reflect the soils of Willamette Valley.