By Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr
Jackson Family Wines knew what it was doing when it purchased Zena Crown Vineyard in Oregon’s rich Willamette Valley. It was Jackson’s introduction to Oregon wine-making and one that would yield impressive results with a new line of pinot noirs. Zena Crown was not only their visa to very fertile vineyards in the Willamette, but it also was a visa to some of the best pinot noir.
Jackson purchased the 115-acre vineyard in 2013 and with that vintage released its first Zena Crown Vineyard label.
If the Jackson name isn’t enough to inspire a serious pinot-phile to try it, Zena Crown graces the labels of several more impressive labels, including Robert Parker’s Beaux Freres, Penner-Ash, Soter and Solena. The vineyard is located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA and was developed by Premier Pacific Vineyards in the early 2000s – not that long ago when you think of some of the historic properties of Napa Valley. In the Willamette Valley, vineyard history doesn’t date much farther back than that.
Elevations of this premier south-facing slope range from 300 to 650 feet.
That variation, the variety of volcanic soils, 48 unique blocks, and the use of a diverse array of clones gives these many producers the opportunity to create a variety of expressions in their pinot noirs.
To read more, pick up a copy of the September/October issue of LiveIt magazine.