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At Archery Summit, we embrace traditional winemaking techniques as well as Pinot-centric technological innovations, enabling us to craft the very best wine from each vintage. Painstaking efforts, including hand-farming and harvesting, have helped us forge an international reputation for being one of the finest Pinot Noir producers in the world.
This year we celebrate 20 years of crafting estate-grown Pinot Noir, showcasing the distinct personality of our vineyards. In honor of the occasion, we introduce Archer’s Edge, our newest estate vineyard. This unique parcel represents a culmination of expertise derived from two decades of cultivating a connection with our land and an intimate knowledge of its terroir.
The 2011 Archer’s Edge Estate Pinot Noir releases July, 2013. To learn more about how we are celebrating our anniversary, please visit our events calendar.
In 2013, renowned Oregon winemaker Christopher Mazepink joined the estate. Having dedicated his entire career to working with Oregon Pinot Noir, Mazepink’s expertise in Willamette Valley and affinity for working with Dundee Hills fruit paired with our veteran Vineyard Manager Leigh Bartholomew’s dynamic and in-depth knowledge of the terroir creates an inspired perspective from which to forge the future of Archery Summit’s acclaimed wines.
Leigh’s in-depth understanding of how each block will respond to weather conditions allows her to expertly adjust her methods to meet the vagaries of each vintage. Likewise, at Chris’ discretion, maceration, fermentation and élevage techniques are optimized for each vintage, taking into account how the grapes developed throughout the season.
Pinot Noir is a delicate varietal that requires gentle handling at every stage of production. Archery Summit pioneered the elimination of mechanical pumps used to transport must and wine among fermenters, tanks and barrels. Instead, we engineered a unique gravity-flow design, which utilizes five levels.
Grapes received at the crush pad on the top level travel downward one floor at a time to our fermentation hall, aging caves and bottling area. Using an elevator built into the cellar 60 feet below the ground, barrels can be lifted for racking and blending and filled without the use of pumps. This process prevents any stress on the wine that might impair its essence.
With over 100 distinctive vineyard blocks, Archery Summit’s barrel regimen is purposely varied. We select a variety of coopers, matching the wood source and toast level to the vineyard blocks and vintage conditions, so that the barrels work in harmony with the wine.
winegrowing and vineyard management
It is impossible to separate the process of making the wine from the process of growing the grapes. Archery Summit implements organic agricultural practices, including a biodynamic approach at the Renegade Ridge vineyard. To further enhance the quality of the fruit, rootstock-to-clone combinations are constantly undergoing trials in order to best match our vines to specific terroir. Our vineyards are densely planted, producing smaller berries with more concentrated flavors.
To ensure the integrity of our Pinot Noir, yields are kept low. In fact, the amount of pampering that goes into cultivating our vines results in sound fruit that is highly expressive and terroir-driven. As a result, connoisseurs have the opportunity to experience wine on a rare, refined level
caves and winery
Modeled after the subterranean cellars of the Côte d’Or, and hewn from the natural volcanic rock found beneath the estate, our underground caves provide ideal aging conditions for Pinot Noir. Naturally insulated and integral to our unique gravity-flow facility, cave temperatures prevail at 55°F to 59°F throughout the year, with a humidity level below 75%. Here, more than 500 French oak barrels of estate wines mature for up to 18 months, putting the finishing touches on each selection before being bottled.
Visitors may explore this amazing underground labyrinth with a tour of the winery, and see first-hand how the architecture is critical to the production of our world-class wines.