In conversations with our guests at the winery tasting room, it’s become evident that many people don’t realize we have a vineyard here in town. That’s understandable because we haven’t produced anything for folks to try quite yet. But I want you all to know what’s to come with what is, believe it or not, the largest vineyard in the Puget Sound.
The Vineyard on Portuguese Hill, which we started planting here in Port Townsend in 2015, is divided into three separate vineyard blocks. Rather than looking at it as one 11-acre vineyard, I prefer to think of it as three adjoining vineyards with three different personalities.
The Home Block was our first planting and is comprised of over four acres of a broad array of grape varieties, some aromatic in style and some better for sparkling wine. Here in August we’re seeing a vineyard block in full growth. The canopy is full and green and we have a nearly full crop of fruit for the first time. This block will contribute to our off-dry field blend. We made a very small amount from the grapes we picked in 2017. But there’s just enough for wine club events. It’s amazingly tasty and I can’t wait for everyone to try some.
The Forest Block is a bit hidden from view past a row of trees. In fact it’s surrounded on all sides by fir, hemlock and madrona, hence its name. The grape varietals here are almost all aromatic in nature. In the first year this block was munched pretty heavily by deer, so the vines are almost a year behind the Home Block in development. The plan with this vineyard is to add a spicy and floral aroma to our Discovery White blend starting next year.
In 2016 we started planting what we call the Lavender Block. It straddles the driveway on the way in just past our large patch of lavender. It’s 100% planted in the grapes of Champagne – three clones of Pinot Noir and one clone of Chardonnay – and we intend to make sparkling wine with its fruit. We won’t get any fruit off this one this year, but the small vines are working on their root growth in 2018 to support a small crop in 2019.