Antiquum Farm is a place of anomaly. Almost an oddity. This site, bearing both traits of a warm ripe site and a high-elevation late ripening site, defies any clear classification. Our site consistently records some of the warmest daytime vineyard temperatures in the valley. The fruit maturity at Antiquum is regularly well advanced in comparison to most other sites
However, this is not the whole story. If it were, one might expect to find broad jammy wines lacking structure or balance. In truth, the vineyard yields well framed, deep dark fruit, fine polished tannins, rippling high toned almost tropical acidities and confectionary delights. Antiquum Farm is one of the rare sites that seems to have it all and is truly like no other in the new world.
Why does this happen?
Our Vineyard is also a high elevation site. 800 feet above sea level puts us nearly at the edge of the what is considered a growable elevation for pinot noir in the Willamette Valley. Despite this elevation, the slope seems to collect and amplify heat during the day. Stranger still, the vineyard is warmer the higher up the slope you go. The nights see the trend reverse. This, especially as the days shorten, causes the fruit to hold its’ acids. These acids balance the massive dark fruit tones produced by the warm daytime temperatures giving the fruit structure, finesse, and complementing bright high tones.
The soil type is a classification known as bellpine. Bellpine soils are a silty clay loam over sandstone parent material. This sandstone base is the remnant of an ancient seafloor. Bellpine soil typically inhabits the upper elevations of the southern Willamette valley. Our topsoil is quite thin. It is the most depleted of all classified vineyard soil types in Oregon. Alternate soil types at lower elevations received significant sediments carried on ice age floods. Other valley soils received lava flow, wind and river deposits. Vineyards located on bellpine soil need to dig deeply. The deeper a vine must root, the more variations it will encounter throughout the strata. These variations build complexity and interest. For this reason, I refuse to irrigate my vines. They must dig for their needs.
Bellpine sites are typically late maturing due to their thin top soil and depleted base material combined with high elevation. An early maturing site on bellpine soil such as Antiquum Farm is an unusual blessing. When these components join forces it constitutes the holy grail of pinot. Depth, power, structure and finesse in perfect balance.