Witness Tree Vineyard
and Elemental Cellars
The winery is named for an ancient oak which towers over the vineyard--it was designated a surveyor's landmark since 1854. Located in the Eola Hills north of Salem the winery is next door to Cristom and just over the ridge from Bethel Heights. Witness Tree has had several shifts in ownership, most recently when Dennis and Carolyn Devine bought out former Witness Tree owners Derek and Monica Mortimer-Lamb.
Witness Tree wines are 100% estate grown.
Bryce Bagnall is Witness tree's Winemaker. After graduating from the University of California at Davis -- the nation's premiere school for winemaking and viticulture -- Bryce spent nine years with Edna Valley Vineyard in California as an Enologist before spending a year on a Rotary Scholarship Studying and working in the cellars of many producers in the Burgundy region of France. He joined the Witness Tree staff in March of 1995.
Witness Tree has 46 acres of vineyard and makes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in small amounts. Estate and reserve wines are now joined by a "Benchmark" bottling of their very best product. They also produce great value in their Aurora label, where they sell off the juice that doesn't quite make the cut for their higher priced offerings.
Pinot Noir Reviews- Older Vintages
Witness Tree Pinot Noir 97
Witness Tree Pinot Noir Vintage Select 1998
Wine Spectator says: "This 100-acre
vineyard in the Eola Hills, closer to Salem than Portland on the Oregon
map, always seems to produce a Pinot Noir that reflects the best of the
vintage -- not always outstanding, but a good barometer of the year in
question. This one has the intense fruit of the '98 vintage and manages
to tame the chewy tannins that get in the way in a significant number
of wines. Much deeper in flavor than the winery's regular bottling, it's
ripe and focused, with well-articulated blueberry, black cherry and toasty
spice flavors mingling nicely and echoing on the solid finish. It has
a graceful feel despite its fullness and intensity, but I'd wait until
2003 to drink it. RATING 91 POINTS
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