Our Papillon Pinot Noir is a blend of Dijon clones 113 and 115 from our Cherry Hill estate fruit. This fruit comes from vines that are planted on our Nekia soil with southwest facing slopes at 300 feet elevation. We noticed in our frequent barrel tasting of the Dijon clones that our winery dog Daisy would anxiously wait for the leftovers from the wine thief. Since Daisy is a Papillon of French descent with a cultured palate, we decided that we would label this wine Papillon. As evidenced by this soft elegant pinot noir, our Papillon has indeed shown a discerning palate. We now follow the Papillon to the barrel of her choice and will only select that which she seeks. Daisy has just returned from a wine show in New York. Both were awarded best of show and their best days lie ahead. Both dog and wine are aging well. Come visit the Papillon at Cherry Hill Winery where she is part of the wine experience. She resides in cabin 4 where she hones her skills and greets our guests. (Note the wine glass on Daisy’s forehead.)
Pinot Noir is known as the most food-friendly grape and Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs rank with the best in the world. We recommend entrees of fish, beef, wild game, and pastas.
The area has been known as Cherry Hill as far back as the local lore runs in this young corner of America. Wild cherries have always grown here, and much of our 150 acres were planted in sweet Royal Anne cherries in the 1960s.
Even earlier the hill was planted to prune trees, which produced succulent fruit. Indeed, the entire Willamette Valley is known for wonderful soil and a long, moderate growing season that is just right for agriculture of all kinds. Today the Willamette Valley is planted to over 6,000 acres of Pinot Noir.
In the early 1990ís this property was purchased by the legendary William Hill, one of the early visionaries of the Napa Valley. Hillís special facility with hillside sites is famous: he developed Atlas Peak, Diamond Mountain Ranch, Mount Veeder and other distinctive appellations in the Napa region.
That same ‘nose for slopesí led him to the Eola Hills. The undeveloped rural district had all the right ingredients for world-class pinot noir: the right cool climate, southwestern slopes, elevations between 250-500 feet, and the essential rich, well-drained Jory soils. (In fact, Jory soil is named for nearby Jory Hill in Oregonís Marion County.)
William Hill acquired a large tract of land here in the Eola Hills early in the 1990s. He divided the property into three separate parcels, all of which are now planted to pinot noir and one of which was purchased in 1998 by our own Mike Sweeney.
William Hill continues to pursue vineyard development in the area with his Premier Pacific project. We at Cherry Hill continue to pursue our own Holy Grail: producing a perfect Pinot Noir from some of the best fruit acreage on the planet.
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