We believe that wine is made in the vineyard, and you can taste the difference in a High Pass wine!
At High Pass Winery, we know that the quality of our wine depends on the quality of our vineyard. Our wine-making philosophy is deeply rooted in respect for the earth and the vines, and we place great emphasis on sustainable farming practices. Our vines are grafted on a native American root stock, which ensures that the vines are naturally protected from phylloxera, an insect that damages wine grape vines. We use 5'x7' vine spacing, following a modern European viticulture approach that yields quality wine at attractive prices. Bellpine is the predominant soil; Bellpine soils are a silty clay loam over sandstone parent material. We also practice dry farming, meaning we do not irrigate our mature vines. The roots are deep enough to tap water as deep as 6 feet!
High Pass Vineyard
Our first vineyard, planted in 1984. Consists of 33 acres (23 in grapes).
Vineyard elevation ranging from 450’ – 650’.
These grapes have been planted on south facing slopes, with the exception of our most recent block, A, which is an East facing slope. The main variety on this Vineyard is Pinot Noir. Different blocks have different Pinot Noir clones. The clones include: Pommard, 777, 667, 115, 114, 113, and 2A (also known as Wadenswil).
Other varieties include Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Scheurebe, Huxelrebe, and a few rows of Silvaner, Bacchus, Siegfried, Gewurztraminer, Comtessa and Gutedel.
Union School Vineyard
Union School Vineyard – 20 acres (17 in grapes)
The Union School Vineyard was planted in 2005. The vineyard is named after a school house that was next to the vineyard, before there were school buses to take pupils to Junction City. Dieter wanted to keep the history of the area, hence the reason he named the vineyard Union School.
This vineyard has an elevation of 500’ – 700’ above sea level and a south facing slope. The concave shape of the land heats up the air which rises then helps to create a warm sheltered microclimate. That makes it a very unique vineyard site. The resulting wine is intensely concentrated with impeccable balance.
The main grape variety on this vineyard is Pinot Noir of Pommard and 777 clones, with small lots of Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Scheurebe.
Hazel Smith Vineyard
Hazel Smith Vineyard – 20 acres (15 in grapes)
Hazel Smith Vineyard, formerly known as Moriah, is just south of Union School Vineyard. They share a fence line. Varieties here are Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc.
Priddy Vineyard – 20 acres (7 in grapes)
Located West of High Pass Vineyard, with vine rows serving as the fence line. Varieties include: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and a native American grape that we use as rootstock for grafting new grape starts.
Hildebrand Ranch - 80 acres
Hildebrand Ranch is our newest vineyard. It features a south facing slope and adjoins High Pass to the East. We purchased Hildebrand Ranch in January 2019. Varieties at this vineyard will include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. We are projecting our first harvest for 2022.