Chehalem (Chuh-hay-lum) is a local American Indian word best translated as "gentle land" or "valley of flowers," phrases that capture a long-standing, almost religious reverence for the land.
We at Chehalem understand this reverence, for we consider ourselves a vineyard winery, dedicated to reflecting as purely as possible what the vineyard has produced, with minimal processing, without compromising great fruit. Our vineyard sites are at once warm and ripening, yet austere and cruelly stingy with grapes. Grapes never lack for intensity.
The original Ridgecrest, Stoller, and Corral Creek vineyards are Chehalem's three estate vineyards.
Our oldest estate vineyard, Ridgecrest is a 37 acre vineyard on a 72 acre property located on Ribbon Ridge, a small ridge at the western end of the Chehalem Range and Valley. Beginning in 1980, this site pioneered grapegrowing on Ribbon Ridge, and is now joined by Beaux Frères, Brick House, Adelsheim, Archery Summit and others.
Soils are Willakenzie, a transition soil series exhibiting characteristics of both volcanic and sedimentary underlying structures. Soil characteristics are silty, clay loam, moderate in soil depth and water retention; friable, not excessively rich, basalt and sandstone/siltstone rock as a base.
Wine characteristics in Pinot Noir for Willakenzie soil are big, briary, sweet, black-fruited aromas and flavors, with emphasis on raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, cassis and hints of dusty chocolate, in a style reminiscent of the Cotes de Nuits. Excellent acidity and a finesseful texture and finish are also hallmarks of the vineyard site, being relatively high in elevation, (south-sloping at the 400-600 foot elevation level), mature in vine age, and deeply rooted.
31190 NE Veritas Lane