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Lachini Vineyards

Lachini Vineyard

Lachini Vineyards produces 100% Pinot Noir, using gentle, hand managed techniques. Such practices include hand-harvesting, sorting and use of gravity-flow processes. Other non-interventionist techniques, such as the use of native yeasts, whole cluster fermentations and minimal racking, insures the bottled wines express much of their natural greatness from their vineyard origins.

Isabelle Dutartre is presently making Lachini's wines and is also the winemaker for De Ponte Cellars. Isabelle has a great deal of experience making superior wines and has been in the wine industry for over 20 years. Most notably, she was trained in classical Burgundian Enology and Viticulture in Beaune, France and worked extensively under the Maison Joseph Drouhin. Isabelle has made wine for ten vintages in Burgundy, France. She has also had experience with Pinot Noir from Oregon, where she previously worked for five vintages at Domaine Drouhin of Oregon. Isabelle resides in the south of France and makes frequent trips to Oregon.

Isabelle supervising planting

Lachini Vineyard's forty-five acres are located in Newberg, the heart of the North Willamette Valley, approximately 30 miles Southwest of Portland. It only took one look for us to know that this was a unique and special site. Our sloping Estate Vineyard is comprised of Willakenzie series soils-ranging from 18 to 48 inches in depth. The shallow, fine silt loam over sedimentary rock has lower water capacity due to it's sandy consistency and thus forces the vines to compete and develop deep root systems. The emerging terror of these dark-brown to yellowish-brown soils reveal Pinot Noir wines with strong earthy notes, chocolate, and a definite flavour of anise and spice. We purchased the property in 1998 and planted the first five acres with Pinot Noir (Pommard clone) in June of 1999, after clearing and natural site preparation. In the following '00, '01, and '02 growing seasons, we planted additional blocks that now entail just over 20 acres of planted Pinot Noir. Most recent plantings include Dijon and Wadenswil clones.

Ron Lachini and Isabelle

Subsequently, with the 2003 growing season upon us, Lachini Vineyard currently has fifteen acres bearing fruit. Over the next five years, the entire vineyard will come into full production, with maximum planting to 30 acres on this site. Vineyard spacing is 4' X 6" or roughly 1700 vines per acre, which forces the vines to compete and allows us to produce premium quality wines. We seek to limit our annual production under 2 tons/acre; but of course, mother nature doesn't always cooperate. For the '01 and '02 harvests, we limited yields to one cluster per shoot, and essentially dropped nearly 60 percent of our fruit to ripen the best clusters. Lachini Vineyards uses drip irrigation to help establish our young vines and control the amount and timing of water delivered to each plant. We are presently experimenting with administering nutrients such as compost tea direct to each plant.

Ron and Eric Hamacher


Our philosophy is shared my many in Oregon-"To respect the land, treat it well for generations to come."
Lachini Vineyards are hand-farmed using sustainable agriculture and organic practices. Sustainable viticulture not only protects and renews soil fertility; but minimizes adverse impacts on natural biological cycles and controls as well as minimizing impacts on health, safety, wildlife, water quality and the environment. Low Input Viticulture and Enology, Inc. program (LIVE, Inc.) is a program providing vineyards and wineries official recognition for sustainable agricultural practices that are modeled after international standards such as the practice of Botanical diversity in the cover crop and management practices that favor beneficial insects.

Spring 2003

Through sustainable agriculture and organic farming principles we are at work within the vineyard rows on a daily basis from budbreak in April to harvest in October. Every farming method we practice, create or implement, whether employing organic soil amendments to hoeing by hand, is meant to increase the vitality and potential of each grapevine. We limit crop yields to extremely low levels (0.75 - 2 tons/acre), and through several stages of leaf, canopy and soil management we are able to harvest extremely ripe fruit, which gives us more consistently complex, ageworthy and classic Pinot Noirs. Lachini Vineyards is transitioning in '03 to more organic farming practice- limited use of pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides in its vineyards.

We strive to use:

- Natural, organic, elemental-spray solutions to combat vine diseases like mildew and botrytis.(primarily sulfur)

- Natural and indigenous predatory insects and bacterium to control noxious pests.

- Compost and verma compost teas instead of industrial fertilizers to feed our soils and young plants

- Foliar sprays of kelp, fish emulsions, and pulverized plant and mineral elements to help maintain the health of our plants during the dry summer months.


We started off with drier than normal winter allowing us to spend extended time in the vineyard. Bud break was early and flowering was normal. The growing season has been steady with some extended heat spells. We've had lots of hands-on work as usual, including: pruning, suckering, trellis and extra drainage work, hoeing/weed management in the early season followed by mulching last year's cover crop into the soil to add a rich mixture of nitrogen, and other important organic matter and nutrients. Recently we are focused on canopy management and crop thinning (by limiting the amount of fruit per plant to one cluster per shoot and further limiting the number of shoots on our young vines). Of course, we continue to learn how our vineyard responds to mother nature... all with anticipation of a wonderful harvest sometime late September or early October.

From the winery

This year, we initiated the transition to the L.I.V.E. program and are impressed with the initial results.

We are excited about our experimentation with compost as a regular soil amendment.

We anxiously await to begin a fall planting on our estate vineyard this year- comprising of 3 more acres .

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