Introducing La Crema Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

La Crema is a pioneer in cool-climate artisan winemaking. From our home in the Russian River Valley, we have explored California’s finest coastal growing regions to uncover vineyards where cooling coastal wind and fog allow the grapes to ripen slowly on the vine, developing intensely complex aromas and flavors.

This quest has led to the famed Willamette Valley in Oregon — our new La Crema Willamette Valley Pinot Noir adds yet another excellent cool-climate Pinot Noir region to our collection.

Willamette Valley 101

The Willamette Valley stretches from Eugene to Portland, bordered by the Oregon Coast Range on the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east. Recognized worldwide for its exceptional Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley encompasses six smaller AVAs, including Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, Ribbon Ridge, Chehalem Mountains, McMinnville and Yamhill Carlton.

The 2012 Vintage

Looking back on it, we couldn’t have chosen a better year to begin our adventure in the Willamette Valley. We were fortunate it was such a gentle introduction to a region that typically has more challenging weather conditions than California. The growing season offered near-perfect weather for ripening, with very little disease pressure or rain. The fruit was in pristine condition as harvest approached, so we were able to make picking decisions without concern about rain or heat spikes.

Winemaking Technique

For this, our first release from Willamette Valley, we explored as many sites within the region as possible. In the end, we hand selected excellent fruit from 10 different vineyards, including sites found in the sub AVAs of McMinnville, Eola-Amity and Dundee Hills. With eight different clones and a variety of climatic and soil profiles, the wines that resulted from this broad sampling of the area gave us so much to work with in putting together our blend. The range of weights, textures, aromas and flavors was thrilling to work with and allowed us to make a wine that is both an expression of Willamette Valley and La Crema.