De Ponte Cellars
De Ponte Cellars is a family owned and operated winery, set in the heart of Oregon’s Dundee Hills, tucked between Archery Summit and Domaine Drouhin. Winemaker Isabelle Dutartre comes to Oregon from France and Domaine Drouhin to make wine from the De Ponte Vineyard's fruit. The vineyard is just up the road from famed Archery Summit and Domaine Drouhin, where Isabelle assisted friend Veronique Drouhin in making 5 vintages of DDO wines.
De Ponte winemaker, Isabelle Dutartre, spent over 15 years producing critically acclaimed wines in both Burgundy and Oregon, and is acknowledged to be one of France’s leading experts in wine barrels. She now makes wine exclusively for De Ponte, visiting several times a year from France, and giving expert guidance to Scott and the cellar crew.
More About De Ponte Cellars Winery
Isabelle started her winemaking career at Maison Drouhin. After 10 years, she joined their Oregon venture, Domaine Drouhin where she worked alongside her close friend Veronique Drouhin to make 5 successive vintages of world class wine.
In 1998, she returned to France to raise a family and became a consultant for a French oak barrel producer. Her extensive knowledge of barrels and the contribution the correct barrel can make to a quality wine is a rare talent that adds to her winemaking skills.
She turned her sights back to Oregon and De Ponte in 1999 at the invitation of her friend Buddy Beck.
“Vines have grown successfully on this site for over 30 years and we’ve taken the lessons they’ve taught us and applied new farming techniques to match the very best of all worlds – the new and the old, Oregon and Burgundy.” Buddy Beck
The vineyard includes 3 acres of old vine Pinot Noir and 3 acres of Melon, head pruned Zinfandel-style. Buddy has devised a unique trellising system to open up the canopy and expose the grapes to air and sunlight. With only 450 vines to the acre (modern plantings are around 1450/acre) these ancient vines with their unknown root depth and gnarled trunks are remarkable for their drought tolerance and resistance to disease.
The De Ponte Vineyard
The remaining 11 acres were planted to Pinot Noir in 1999 with clones and rootstock carefully selected to provide the best blending potential in the final wines.
In 2002, we refined our vineyard sources to focus on two distinct locations: our own estate fruit, and nearby Saga Hills, 7.5 acres of Pinot Noir located a stone’s throw away, and also planted by Buddy