Bryn Mawr is a Welsh name that roughly translates to “High Hill.” Ranging from 650-890 feet on the Western crest of the Eola-Amity Hills, the elevation is the distinctive characteristic of our site. As one of the steepest, rockiest, and windiest sites in the Willamette Valley, just a hundred yards can have a massive impact on sun and wind exposure, soil type and depth. We have multiple volcanic soil series striated throughout the property and quite the range of aspects, from true East to true West. Even though our vineyard is small, our block-to-block variation can be as great as entire regions!
One thing that has become clear to us is just how different our site is than others in the Willamette Valley. Directly to our West lies the Van Duzer corridor, a mountain pass in the Coast Range that acts as a massive wind tunnel for the rest of the state to receive cool ocean winds on hot summer days. We regularly see temperatures 5-7 degrees lower and winds much stronger than areas just 500 feet below us. As a result, our vines are a bit more stressed and slow-growing than those of our neighbours. Cool vintages bring us white knuckles in the fall, as our grapes often need an extra few weeks to achieve full ripeness and winter rains loom on the forecast. The payoff comes in warm vintages when we are able to maintain acidity and verve with above-average hang time.