The Southern Oregon winegrowing region is very unique given that it can successfully grow a wide range of varieties because of its topographical diversity, and it was pioneer Peter Britt who planted the first vineyard in our region (located just a few miles from our site) nearly 150 years ago. His vineyard included many different varieties along with Franc Pinot, known today as Pinot noir and according to Dr. Willard Brown, a local wine historian, this may have been the first planting of Pinot noir in the state of Oregon. As of the 2010 growing season, Pinot noir is the third most planted variety in our region.
DANCIN Vineyards is a collection of three distinctively unique micro-vineyards of Pinot noir and Chardonnay located above the forested foothills just outside the historic gold rush town of Jacksonville, Oregon each contributing its own individuality (terroir) to the overall diversity of our growing sites. Our vineyards are primarily located on northeast facing slopes that are situated at varied elevations of between 1710 and 1905 feet above sea level, and as a result each site expresses its own specific microclimate. One of the many benefits to our forested location is that our three sites enjoy a reduction in temperature when our afternoon readings are at their peak, as the trees begin to diffuse the sunlight leading to shading over the vineyard, which is similar to the effect of afternoon fog in other growing regions. This daily process results in a noticeable reduction in heat for a period of up to two hours depending upon the stage of the growing season, which is beneficial to varieties such as Pinot noir and Chardonnay.
The vines of DANCIN Vineyards are planted on a dense 4 X 7 (1556 vines/acre) pattern and are trained on a vertical shoot positioned (VSP) system. Our row orientation is slightly northeast to southwest. We have selected seven different Pinot noir clones and three different Chardonnay clones. This selection process occurred over a period of many months and only after considerable research and numerous conversations with successful growers and researchers who were willing to share their wisdom with us. Our goal was not only to select distinctively different clones that had wonderful individual flavor and aroma characteristics and attributes, but also those that would perform exceptionally well together as a “symphony” on our site. In a sense, we were looking for great dance partners. As a result, our vineyards are comprised of the following Pinot noir clones: Dijon 777, Pommard, Dijon 115, Wadenswil 2A, Dijon 828, Dijon 667 and Dijon 114, while our Chardonnay selections are: Robert Young 17, Dijon 76 and Wente 72. We believe that we have matched these clones to the specific blocks that will best express the desirable characteristics of Pinot noir and Chardonnay for our sites.
At DANCIN Vineyards, our goal is to maintain appropriate vine balance through proper management practices. We endeavor to avoid massive canopy “haircuts” and quick fixes if at all possible, therefore all of our activities including pruning, irrigation, canopy management and crop thinning are determined through a continual assessment of each grapevine at every stage of the growing season.
Since we are a true micro vineyard and winery, we have the ability and freedom to meticulously care for and cultivate our nearly 5000 vines and respond to the various dynamics occurring in the vineyard in an expedient manner. We know our vines very well and this is truly beneficial. We recognize that no two vines are exactly alike and therefore understand that each requires individual handling and attention. Our vineyard management style is not “production line” oriented. If a particular task requires 10-15 minutes or more per vine as some of our training did in 2010 and 2011, then that’s what we do because we believe that this level of care and attention in the vineyard will ultimately translate into healthier fruit that requires less intervention in the winery leading to exceptional wine.
At DANCIN Vineyards, we have implemented the use of four separate weather stations along with three soil temperature and moisture monitors strategically placed throughout the vineyards to assist us with our daily assessments of the conditions of our sites, and while not a substitute for the “farmer’s shadow,” they are a truly valuable tool. These components have documented that our sites can have up to a 10 degree F temperature variation between vineyard blocks. Consequently, we have divided our vineyards into smaller than “normal” blocks with corresponding irrigation zones resulting in the ability to manage our cooler and wetter sites much differently than those on the hillside. Our irrigation layout enables us to water as few as 28 to 56 vines in one irrigation set, which allows us to conserve one of our most precious resources by not applying water at unnecessary times as well as limiting our water usage to that which is absolutely necessary. For additional information about our sustainable vineyard practices, please click here.
We also wanted to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to those who have shared their vast knowledge and wisdom with us by helping us through the journey of making DANCIN Vineyards a reality. We are truly blessed to have on-going relationships with the following people: Randy Gold, Marcus Buchanan, Patty Skinkis, Joel Myers, Greg Jones, Chris Hubert, Glenn McGourty and Porter Lombard among so many others. We are also grateful to be associated with the following organizations: Rogue Valley Winegrowers Association, Southern Oregon Winery Association, Oregon Winegrowers Association, American Society for Enology and Viticulture, Southern Oregon Visitors Association & Travel Southern Oregon and The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County.
DANCIN Vineyards…Unveiling the essence of Pinot noir and Chardonnay through meticulous, attentive and precise viticulture practices in unison with the responsible stewardship of the land. We are dedicated to excellence through each and every facet of production.