Burgundy is the motherland for Pinot Noir lovers; however, some incredible wines are coming from many regions around the world. Oregon's famous Willamette Valley has captured the love of viticulture for years, and the wines continue to dial in their understanding of place and style in the Pacific North West. Evening Land was introduced to me from a dear friend over ten years ago, and I have loved watching the transformation of this incredible vineyard that the team is devoted to making world-class wines.
- Kevin O. Hart , Founder Hart & CRU
“Great wine is made in the vineyard.”
EVENING LAND VINEYARDS
Written by Brittany Marsh
Boca Restaurant - Cincinnati, Ohio (Brittany’s Bio at end.)
The wines of Evening Land Vineyards tell a story of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay through the Seven Springs vineyard of Eola-Amity hills in the famed Willamette Valley of Oregon. ELV has also made other knock-out bottlings—sparkling, Pét-Nat Chenin Blanc, and Gamay Noir á la Beaujolais!
A Legendary Partnership
Put an extraordinary viticulturist—Sashi Moorman— and a brilliant wine writer/somm —Rajaat Parr—together, you have Evening Land Vineyards. The duo had already worked together on several noteworthy projects, including Sandhi and Domaine de La Côte, both of Santa Rita Hills. Moorman worked for Stolpman Vineyards and founded his own label—PiedraSassi. Parr was sommelier for great restaurants in San Francisco and wrote iconic books like The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste and Secrets of the Sommelier. Their venture of Evening Land Vineyards started in 2014 when they purchased the Seven Springs estate in Eola-Amity and made it their own.
Other team members include Ben DiCristina—winemaker—who met Moorman while working a vineyard apprenticeship in Santa Barbara. DiCristina was inspired by his motives and moved to Oregon to join Evening Land. Tynan Pierce—vineyard tour guide—will hike with you through the Seven Springs Estate while you taste several of the single vineyard bottlings in the soil whence they came.
Putting Eola-Amity on the Map
Even though the Eola-Amity AVA is rather young by global standards, the Seven Springs Vineyard is considered historical. It was planted in 1984; an eastern-facing vineyard that laps up plenty of sunlight during the day, yet cooled by winds from the Van Duzer Corridor. It’s this sense of balance in nature that really allows the vines there to absolutely shine.
Vineyards often have a distinctly whimsical air about them and Seven Springs does not disappoint! A forest of Douglas Fir trees are burrowed up right to the edge of the vines. If the air is clear, the snow-capped Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier are within view. The vineyards are filled with large pieces of volcanic rock making for complex wines with excellent capacity for aging.
No Stone Unturned
What is so captivating about wine culture in Oregon is how highly farmers prioritize their environment, their vineyards, their history. The vineyard manager for Evening Land—Jessica Cortell—takes great pride in ensuring the sustainability of the vines, although her duties barely stop with the grapes. Wildflowers like crimson clover and yellow mustard are essential as cover crops—helping to manage nitrogen in the air and return it to the soil.
Dry farming—farming without use of irrigation—is utilized all over Oregon and in Seven Springs. Over the course of time, farmers found that non-irrigation methods force roots deep into the soil in search of moisture and minerals, ultimately creating a more complex and age worthy wine.
And for good measure, Evening Land is LIVE certified. This is a Northwest climate-specific certification; winemakers must complete a rigorous yearly checklist of sustainability practices. One such practice is regulating the runoff from vineyards into adjacent water sources; the water and fish must also stay safe and clean.
The farmers are often good friends with their neighboring winemakers; they get together regularly, share wine, help and promote each other, cherish the history of their homeland. In a nutshell, sustainable winemaking is practiced well beyond the vineyard.
Seven Springs Chardonnay : Estate Chardonnay fermented in Stockinger Puncheons (500L) and aged 12 months in barrel. 665 Cases Produced
Seven Springs "La Source" Chardonnay : Fermented in Stockinger Puncheons(500L) with spontaneous and indigenous fermentation. Raised sur lie and completed Malolactic fermentation. 465 Cases Produced
Seven Springs Gamay : One acre of old vines planted on their own roots in 1983. 100% Whole-Cluster carbonic maceration in sealed concrete vats and aged in neutral French oak. 354 Cases Produced
Seven Springs Pinot Noir : Blended blocks of some of the oldest own-rooted estate Pinot Noir in Seven Springs Vineyard. 35% Whole cluster open-top concrete and oak fermentation with indigenous yeast. Aged in 20% new French oak for 16 months. 2,600 Cases Produced
Seven Springs "La Source" Pinot Noir : Coming from the highest rocky block which is incredibly influenced by the winds from the Can Duzer Gap to the Pacific Ocean. Harvest by hand and aged in 40% new French oak barrels. 641 Cases Produced
Seven Springs “Anden” Pinot Noir : The oldest, own-rooted Pinot Noir vines planted in 1984 and are truly some of the pride and joys of what Seven Springs Vineyard offers. The vines have slowly succumb to phylloxera but are still producing a very small amount of incredibly complex Pinot Noir. 100% whole-cluster fermented and aged in 100% new Ermitaga oak barrels. 159 Cases Produced