Eola Hills Wine Cellars is a vertically integrated company, meaning we grow the grapes that we make into wine. So, for us, winemaking begins in the vineyard. It’s about good planning and decision-making from the start.
Our knowledge of the soils and other influences on how vines will grow in a particular vineyard helps us plant the right vines in the right place. Our largest vineyard, Legacy Estate, has broad areas that are ideal for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. But one vineyard block is drier and exposed to full sun for much of the day, and that’s where we’ve planted Cabernet Sauvignon. Another area is ideal for Riesling.
At harvest time, we test for ripeness daily, to ensure fruit is picked just at the right moment. All of our pre-fermentation and fermentation processes are closely monitored to ensure our high standards of quality controls are met. Selected by our head winemaker, several yeast strains are utilized during fermentation to develop appropriate nuances in the various wines.
Eola Hills’ premium varietals are aged in a variety of oak barrels, primarily French and American, and occasionally, Hungarian. Judicious use of oak barrels provides subtle complexity to the wines – adding flavor and aromas, but elevating, lengthening and broadening the wine overall.
For overall cooperage, about 12-15 percent new wood is used each year; however, within individual varieties or specified lots, like Reserve Pinot noirs, no more than 30 percent new wood is used. Our Reserve Pinot Gris is aged lightly in French barrels made of acacia wood, which imparts a light, wholly unique flavor.