We settled in Oregon in 1983 and quickly became enamored of the wines of the Willamette Valley.When a friend needed help at her winery, we jumped at the chance. We spent several years as part time "cellar rats," learning the basics of winemaking. It didn't take us long to understand that making great wine requires great grapes. We realized that if we were ever to make our ideal wine, it would have to start in our own vineyard. The Eola Hills region of the Willamette Valley is famous for deeply colored and richly flavored Pinot Noir. We found a hilly, rocky site there in 1995, exactly what we wanted for this temperamental but rewarding grape, and began planting a vineyard that would yield the quintessential Pinot Noir. Our first commercial vintage was released in 2000.
Our vineyard is a 40-acre rocky hillside on the east face of the Amity Hills in the Northern Willamette Valley. This set of hills is the northernmost tip of the Eola Hills region. The soil types are Yamhill A and B on the upper slopes, blending into the Woodburn series at the lower part of the vineyard. These shallow sedimentary soils are the foundation of the signature black fruit qualities for which the Eola Hills are known.
To achieve a complete spectrum of flavors, we planted five clones of Pinot Noir: Dijon 115, 777, 114, 667 and the original Pommard. All are grafted onto 3309, a phylloxera-resistant rootstock. The planting is moderately high-density at 2,000 plants per acre, to help concentrate the flavors without compromising the health of the vines.
In our cool and unpredictable climate, we also employ labor-intensive practices throughout the growing season, to achieve uniformity of ripeness with the best possible balance of sugar, acid and flavors. Shoot positioning, all done by hand, is usually finished by the end of flowering, to optimize sun exposure and air flow. Then, the fruit is thinned to one cluster per shoot.
Our WinesOur goal is Pinot Noir that expresses the highest essence of its site, the soil, the weather, the care of the vines and the craft of the winemaker. We believe that Pinot Noir which is capable of aging for many years, as it develops complexity and elegance, is the epitome of great wine. Our wine is made at Walnut City Wineworks, a small consortium winery in the heart of the Pinot Quarter in McMinnville. While our focus is Pinot Noir, we also enjoy making small amounts of white wines from grapes sourced from some of the best vineyards in Oregon and Washington.
ReviewsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
93 Points - Z'IVO 2008 Pinot Noir Whole Cluster
90+ Points - Z'IVO 2008 Pinot Noir
90 Points - Z'IVO 2006 Pinot Noir
89 Points - Z'IVO 2007 Three
88 Points - Z'IVO 2008 Mika
93 Points & named "Top Value" - Z'IVO 08 Pinot Noir
91 Points - Z'IVO 2006 Pinot Noir
Owners: John & Katherine Zelko
Library Release 2002 Pinot Noir
A limited release from our library-The 2002 vintage has been hailed as...
$40.00 / Bottle
2007 Pinot Noir
Ruby red and elegant, yet also assertively spicey! It will age longer than...
$36.00 / Bottle
2008 Pinot Noir
We are very excited about this wine's aging potential and so is Jay Miller of...
$40.00 / Bottle
2008 Pinot Noir Whole Cluster
"Rich, round, and loaded, this powerful effort is likely to see its 20th...
$40.00 / Bottle
New Oregon style Pinot Gris with Burgundian style Chardonnay to create a...
The aromas are rich with tropical fruits, pineapple and a hint of lychee.
$18.00 / Bottle
2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Our Pinot Noir is produced entirely from our estate vineyard in the...
This whimsical blend is none the less a serious wine with body, complexity...