2017 Windhill

Known for its spicy character and herbal tones, Windhill is an Elk Cove classic and is one of our favorite wines to age in the cellar.

Vintage

VINTAGE 2017 was a classic Oregon vintage with plenty of sunny days and refreshingly cool nights. It was also the first year since our wines were 100% estate grown, created entirely from grapes we own and farm. We now have full control as we care for our vineyards and soils for generations to come. “Estate Grown” is now proudly displayed on each of our labels.

After three early harvests in a row, 2017 brought us back to what many consider “classic Oregon weather.” A wet, cool spring led to a late start to the growing season with an early June bloom. Dry, hot weather in July and August meant great ripening as we thinned clusters to protect quality. Worries of smoke taint during the Columbia Gorge fires proved unfounded in our area, but hazy skies slowed September ripening slightly.

We began bringing in fruit in mid-September, but were interrupted by rain a few times in late September and mid-October. With 40+ vintages under our belts and hillside vineyards at diverse elevations we were able to choose the right windows to pick beautifully ripe fruit from each block. Sometimes this meant pulling long hours: in fact October 9th was our biggest day on record, with 110 tons landing on the crush-pad. Expect ripe tannins, fully developed flavors and classic cool climate freshness in these 2017 vintage wines.

Vineyard

Elk Cove has produced single vineyard pinots from this beautiful hillside vineyard in Banks, Oregon since 1979.  Windhill Vineyard was planted near the Hartwick Resevoir in 1974 by the Reese family, Oregon winegrowing pioneers, and was purchased by Elk Cove in 1996.  South-facing slopes, volcanic soils, mid-level elevation (500 feet) and low yields make Windhill a superior vineyard site.  We have farmed this vineyard using completely organic practices since 1999.  Our Windhill Pinot Noir is produced from 4 acres of the oldest Pommard clone Pinot Noir vines on the property.

Winemaking

All of Elk Cove’s delicate Pinot Noir fruit undergoes the same gentle handling through our gravity flow system.  This allows us to achieve the elegance, texture and luscious quality that are the hallmarks of exquisite Pinot Noir.

We produce this single vineyard wine using only pommard clone Pinot Noir grapes from our Windhill Vineyard.  The wine is fermented in small, temperature controlled steel tanks, hand punched down twice daily then aged for ten months in 50% new French oak.  Finally, our winemaking team blends only those barrels most representative of the spicy character and herbal tones of Windhill’s classic pinot noir fruit.

Viticultural & Enological Data

  • Vine Age 43 years
  • Harvest Sugars 23.5 brix
  • pH 3.53
  • Vatting Fermentation in small open top steel fermenters. 10 months in French oak.
  • Cases Produced 198

Reviews

Review 2017.

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