Clay Court Vineyard
Clay Court Vineyard (formerly Eastburn Vineyard) is owned by Elk Cove Vineyards in Gaston and is located on the eastern side of Parrett Mountain in the newly approved Chehalem Mountains Appellation. Planted in 2001, the vineyard sits on a gently sloping outcrop at about 600’ in elevation and has a panoramic view of the cascades to the north, east, and the south. The vineyard sits in the rain shadow of Parrett Mountain, which helps shelter the vineyard from western blowing winds and rain. The fifteen acres of Pinot Noir is planted to Dijon Clones 114, 115, and 777. All of these clones are grafted onto rootstocks 3309, Riparia Gloire, and 101-14, depending on the soil makeup and Pinot Noir clone characteristics. The soil in the vineyard is a mix of different types of soils, with the upper layer consisting of Laurelwood while the deeper parts of the soil are made of Jory. The vines are irrigated and spaced at 7’ x 4’ which makes for a planting density of about 1500 vines per acre. This site ripens very early and it’s usually one of the first vineyards that we pick every year. The new Appellation that the vineyard is located in has several distinct qualities that make it different than the rest of the Willamette Valley Appellation. The Chehalem Mountains is a single uplifted landmass southwest of Portland in the northern Willamette Valley, extending 20 miles in length and 5 miles in breadth, stretching from southeast to northwest. They include several discrete spurs, mountains and ridges, such as Ribbon Ridge and Parrott Mountain. The highest point within the Willamette Valley is the Chehalem Mountains’ Bald Peak, at 1633 feet, which affects weather for the AVA (American Viticultural Area) and for adjoining grape growing hillsides. It is the geography and climate that differentiate this AVA from others. All three important hillside soil types are represented, basaltic, ocean sedimentary and loess (blown lake bed sediment), the predominant soil on the northern face of the Chehalem Mountains. Within the almost 70,000 acres of this AVA are over 1600 acres of grapes, grown in over 100 vineyards, and 31 wineries.