VINTAGE 2021 was an outstanding year at Elk Cove. Cool weather during bloom and moderate temperatures during most of the growing season brought forth an ample harvest of intensely concentrated fruit.
The timing of weather events was key to our success in 2021. Rainfall during bloom raised expectations for a small, high-quality crop. Then a once-in-amillennium heat dome event brought worrying temperatures to the Pacific Northwest. This was thankfully during the most resilient stage of the growing season and our old vines survived without sign of serious stress or sunburn. Growth resumed normally once temperatures cooled with average heat from July through September bringing even ripening to the plentiful small, loose clusters. Our vines made it through the rain and the heat in fine condition with lots of variable sized berries, known as hens and chicks.
Harvest 2021 was not only of high quality but also surprisingly bountiful. Low levels of dehydration combined with the numerous small clusters and several acres of young vines coming into maturity meant a record tonnage for Elk Cove. For red Pinot Noirs, expect intense color and flavors bursting out of the glass, while white wines and rosés are fruit-forward with great acidity and balance.
Mount Richmond Vineyard sits on Willakenzie soils in the heart of the Yamhill Carlton AVA. The site was purchased in 1996 as a partnership between winemaker Adam Campbell, his wife Carrie, and Elk Cove founders Pat and Joe Campbell.
The motivation for planting Mount Richmond was to emulate the wine quality from sites such as our esteemed Roosevelt vineyard. The vineyard now holds the honor as the largest vineyard holding of Elk Cove, totaling over 150 planted acres.
Mount Richmond sits at 300-500 feet elevation, lower than the vineyards planted at the winery, which allows for earlier ripening. Planted in a high-density format (2100 vines/acre), similar to Roosevelt, Mount Richmond sits in rolling hills just outside the town of Yamhill just East of the Coast Range Mountains. In addition to the old vine Pommard selection, planted from select cuttings off of Roosevelt Vineyard, the blend now also includes equal parts of Dijon clones 115 and 777.
Fruit from Mount Richmond is fermented in small, temperature controlled steel tanks, hand punched down twice daily, and barreled in french oak barrels. After 10 months of aging in barrels, only the barrels that are most representative of the Mount Richmond profile are carefully blended to create a big, luscious Oregon Pinot Noir.