In 1994 we began assembling plant material for one of the most exciting slopes on our forty-acre farm: the swale and ridge right outside the front windows of our old brick home. Rolling gently from our north boundary fence to the foot of tall Douglas fir in our woods, it is a south facing ridge with exposure on both the east and west sides of the central spine.
For such a site, we sought the finest plants available: the new “Dijon clones” of Pinot Noir were just beginning to find their way to West Coast nurseries. We ordered Dijon clones 113 and 115 from King Estate’s plant propagation program and grafted clone 114 from the nursery and Domaine Drouhin Oregon and planted them over nearly nine acres of ground one stormy February day in 1995.
Four years later the first wine from the Dijon block -- the 1998 “Les Dijonnais”-- was awarded 94 points by the Wine Spectator. Ten years after that vintage a Spectator retrospective placed the “Les Dijonnais” at the top of the chart of Oregon’s 1998 Pinot Noirs. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate honored the 2002 “Les Dijonnais” with 94 points. The 2005, 2006 and 2007 “D.J.’s” garnered more acclaim as the vines matured and the winemaker grew more confident in how best to handle their wonderful fruit.