The project started with Marc-André calling me to see if I had interest in a new wine venture. I said I was all in, if we could find a phenomenal site. Our property search began on the torrential rainfall day of November 18th, 2012. We first met at the Red Hills Market for espresso with both our fathers before getting in the car to head to the Eola Hills.
We were 5 minutes from the intended Eola property when we got a call from a local vineyard real-estate guru saying he had a pocket listing for a 21 acre filbert farm on Worden Hill Road in Dundee. We quickly voted to turn the van around and head to Dundee, without so much as looking at the Eola site.
We arrived to the target site, an old filbert orchard neighboring iconic vineyards from Bergström, Cameron, and Maresh.
Though the rain was coming down sideways, we weren’t discouraged from energetically walking through the filbert trees. We immediately felt the potential to grow strong vines here. The trunks of the old filbert trees were incredibly consistent in diameter, indicating that the soil was consistent throughout the steep southern slope. I rallied and reassured the team that this should be our future home. We had an offer on the property by the end of the day.
We planted the vineyard in April of 2013. Ten clones of Pinot Noir and two clones of chardonnay make up a high density average of 2310 vines per acre. The site became the Iron Filbert Vineyard, paying homage to the iron rich Jory soil series and the old filbert orchard that once stood.
This was the start of Domaine Roy. - Jared Etzel, Winemaker.