TYPE/VARIETAL: Pinot Noir
PRODUCT: Benton-Lane Estate Pinot Noir
Benton-Lane Winery founders Steve and Carol Girard grew up in California’s Bay Area, both raised by parents who loved wine. Steve and Carol are high school sweethearts and shared their passion for wine, even while Steve served in the U.S. Navy. Steve and Carol later began their journey as a married couple in Napa Valley where they learned how to care for vineyards, make fine wine and founded their first winery, Girard Winery together. Girard Winery produced sought-after wines that were enjoyed at state dinners and taken by presidents to heads of state as gifts. Julia Child even selected the winery for one of her events.
Steve and Carol tirelessly studied temperatures, wind, sun strength, degree days and soils and finally decided on a 12 mile long area on the foothills of the Willamette Valley Coast Range. This is where they discovered Sunnymount Ranch, an old sheep ranch near the village of Monroe. Sunnymount Ranch had gotten its name over 100 years ago due to Prairie Peak to the west that protected the ranch from winter storms. This mountain carves the rain clouds, sending them north and south while the ranch bathes in sun. Old-time pilots called this place “the keyhole” because they knew it was usually sunny there.
The land sloped gently to the east so potential vines could catch the morning sun. The ranch was above the valley fog but below the windy hill tops. It was rich with volcanic Jory soil, high with organic content. And, it was located in the tenderloin of the Willamette Valley where milder weather allowed earlier ripening and more consistent high quality for grape vines. It immediately became apparent that this sheep ranch was placed on the planet for but one purpose–to produce the best Pinot Noir. Sunnymount Ranch straddled the border between Benton and Lane counties and thus the name Benton-Lane was born.
Benton-Lane First Class Pinot Noir
Benton-Lane Pinot Gris
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