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Patricia Green Durant Vineyards Madrone Block Pinot Noir


Site History:Durant Vineyard is, by any measure, one of the pioneer vineyards in Oregon. The site was established and first planted in 1973 by Ken and Penny Durant who, along with their son Paul, owns and farms it to this day. Set on Breyman Orchards Rd. at the southern end of the Dundee Hills the vineyard is about 60 acres in size with a wide range of elevation topping out at about 600 feet, and has several different plantings of Pinot Noir and other varieties. This is a mostly south-facing site that is adjacent to Domaine Drouhin, De Ponte and Sokol Blosser. To give some perspective on how fertile and life-sustaining the soil is in the Dundee Hills there is also a successful olive orchard planted on the property from which the Durants make some pretty damn good olive oil. We get two sections of fruit from the vineyard. The Bishop Block which was planted to Pommard in 1973 and the Madrone Block which is a 2000 planting of Dijon 115 clone.


Site Characteristics: This block is on a long, gently sloping stretch of hill that faces due south overlooking southern Yamhill County. The rows run opposite the normal north-south which is, especially in this day and age, not necessarily a bad thing. Dijon 115 is known for its early ripening and deeply concentrated fruit character and the Dundee Hills soil and warm growing conditions can enhance these attributes. This section of the vineyard is fortunate to be bounded on one side by trees which provide both shade and a cooling effect. This old vineyard is the home to the Durants and is a significant historic Oregon site. While this block took nearly 30 years to be planted the journey from laying fallow for years to the type of wines it is capable of putting out now assuredly was worth the wait.


The Block: The Madrone Block came about when Ken and Penny were looking for property to purchase for the purpose of planting grapes, they were told that one of the things to look for as a plant indicator were Madrone trees. While other blocks were planted before this one the name for the block was withheld until the 2000 planting along a stretch of hillside dotted with Madrones was planted to Dijon 115. Patricia Green Cellars began receiving fruit in 2012 from this block when the adjacent Bishop Block was severely damaged by a spring hail storm. While we had been bottling the Bishop Block we had only done so under the moniker “Durant Vineyard.” Not wanting to conflate the two we used the specific block to identify this bottling in 2012 and then moved to bottling the Bishop Block and Madrone Block as separate bottlings each vintage since 2013.


Farming Practices:This vineyard, no doubt, encapsulates a lot about the Oregon farming experience. Assuredly in the 1970s the Durants farmed the way most places on the planet did and it’s probably not something anyone wants to think deeply about at this point. However, over time and with prodding from any number of their winery customers (ourselves included) the Durants have moved toward organic farming and even incorporate productive livestock like sheep and goats to keep weeds at bay. Over the years since we began with this family’s vineyard (2010) we have seen a marked change in the farming and the resulting health of the plants and soil.

Size: 750mL ABV 13.5%

Suggested food pairings: Chicken, Pork, Cured Meat

Suggested cheese pairings: Brie, Gruyere, Havarti, Mozzarella, Ricotta


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