A Sense of Place
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 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, which is also the most harvested variety in our region as of the 2014 growing season.
DANCIN Vineyards is a collection of distinctively unique 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 1960 feet above sea level, each of which expresses its own specific microclimate. One of the many benefits to our forested location is that our three sites enjoy a reduction in temperature shortly after 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 cool climate 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 four 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, 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, Espiguette 352, Dijon 76 and Wente 72. We have made every effort to match these clones to the specific blocks that will best express the desirable characteristics of Pinot noir and Chardonnay on our sites.
Our goal is to maintain appropriate vine balance through proper management practices, 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.
We have also 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 truly valuable tools. These weather stations 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 “usual” 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. Read additional information about our Sustainable Vineyard Practices.