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Our Vineyards

6 Estate Organic Vineyards

“My intentions are to produce the best wine I can make, given the land. Create growing conditions that produce wine grapes that will not do damage to the earth. Create wines that taste uniquely of the place where they’re produced.” – Eric Lemelson

In the Great tradition of Burgundy, Lemelson Vineyards owns and manages multiple sites in the Northern Willamette Valley.  We are not suggesting that our wines “are” Burgundian – they are pure examples of Oregon terroir! Our vineyards span three AVA’s, with numerous soil types, exposures, and elevations. All this, so that our wines express an incredibly diverse palette of flavors, textures, and aromas to create Pinot noir that sings to us, on the nose, in the mouth, and in our memories.

View Our Certified Organic Vineyards

Lemelson Vineyards has farmed its vineyards organically from the beginning. Knowing that great wines ultimately come from healthy vineyards, Eric Lemelson sensed that wine grapes would develop their full flavor potential from vineyards managed without synthetic chemical inputs and with the use of techniques and practices that support living, healthy soils. In this view, synthetic chemicals are short-term solutions that may make farming less-expensive and labor intensive in the short term, while often damaging the complex biological relationships that support healthy vines over the long run.

In addition, synthetic chemicals can obscure the unique attributes of each vineyard site (called terroir by the French). Ultimately, we hope you agree that the extra effort of organic farming and gentle, handcrafted winemaking techniques pays off “where it counts,” in the bottle.

In 2004, Lemelson became one of the first vineyards in Oregon to achieve Organic Certification from Oregon Tilth. As we approach 20 years we’re Oregon Tilth, we’re proud to be part of their community and know all the creatures, above and below ground, are happy for it. 

Six Estate Vineyards in the Dundee Hills, Yamhill-Carlton and Chehalem Mountains AVAs

Vineyard Notes from Winemaker Matt Wengel

Stermer Vineyard

Yamhill-Carlton AVA

Year after year, Stermer (the vineyard opposite the winery) produces some of our most complex and structured Pinots.  While generally known for producing wines with notable spice and black fruit characteristics…

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Stermer vineyard is equally capable of producing perfumed, red-fruited, and elegant wines. Thanks to this versatility, no matter what the season brings, we can always count on Stermer to produce some of the vintage’s most compelling wines.

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Meyer Vineyard

Dundee Hills AVA

Nestled in the heart of the historic Dundee Hills, Meyer vineyard produces our flashiest and, dare I say, sexiest Pinot noirs.  No other site produces wines with such opulent red fruit…

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characteristics that just leap from the glass.  Equally charming is the perception of sweetness at the core of these wines despite having no residual sugar present.  We particularly enjoy doing a lot of whole cluster fermentation with Meyer fruit just to add an extra dimension of sweet spice and structure to its already exquisite base.

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Aerial view of the Lemelson vineyards

Chestnut Hill Vineyard

Chehalem mountains AVA

Some people thought Eric Lemelson was crazy for planting vines at Chestnut Hill at over 1,000 ft elevation back in 1995, but fast forward to today and goodness, were they wrong.  

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Thanks to its cooler, elevated climate, the wines of Chestnut Hill are more acid and red fruit driven with an unmistakable earthiness.  Of all our Pinot noirs, Chestnut Hill is the most commonly mistaken for being a French Burgundy in blind tastings – a compliment we always enjoy hearing!
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Johnson Vineyard

Yamhill-Carlton AVA
Johnson vineyard takes Pinot noir and dials up structure to 11.  The tannins we get out of Johnson are critically important to the framework of structure present in our Thea’s Selection Pinot noir…

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and even in our Jerome Reserve Pinot noir.  Are you a fan of big, boldly styled Pinot noir?  Then you will truly appreciate the single vineyard offering from Johnson that dispels any notion that Pinot noir can’t pair with heartier red meats like steak – it absolutely can!
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Rocky Noel Vineyard

Yamhill-Carlton AVA

As the youngest of our estate vineyards, Rocky Noel has been known for producing some of our softest, most vibrant wines.  But Rocky Noel is no baby these days with vines aging 15+ years old.  

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Now Rocky Noel produces wines that are inherently ripe, robust and earthy.  Over the past few years, Rocky Noel has even produced some of our very favorites wines of the vintage!  
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Briscoe Vineyard

Yamhill-Carlton AVA

Sitting atop an exposed and windy hill, Briscoe produces some of our most unique Pinot noirs.  While most sites tend to display red or black fruit notes, Briscoe routinely shows beautiful…

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blue fruit tones like blueberry and blackberry.  The high winds that roll through the vineyard also give the berries thicker skins and thus more structure and richness in the resulting wines.  Fans of boldly structured, blue fruited Pinot noirs are sure to love the wines coming off of this estate.

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Our Commitment to Community

We believe that what’s good for our vineyards and our wine is also good for our community, both the immediate and the larger community. We employ composting, cover cropping, and other time-tested agricultural techniques that support a living, healthy soil and prevent damage to the ecosystems that surround our vineyards. We take extra care to prevent soil erosion, limit our water use to protect the aquifers we share with neighbors, and respect wildlife habitat. And we are proud of the fact that we offer our vineyard workers good wages, health insurance coverage and a safe work environment.

Our intention is to allow you to experience the pure, expressive flavors of our Pinot noir and other wines, unclouded by homogenizing influences, while we work to protect the beautiful gift we’ve inherited that is a small bit of Oregon.

Why does Lemelson own so many Vineyards?

“If you’re an oil painter and you’re painting for a career, you’re painting as an artist. Would you prefer to have 5 colors on your palette or 50 colors on your palette?”

Eric Lemelson
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