chance meeting
clone | pommard
APPELLATION | willamette valley
WINEMAKER | Adam Campbell
BOTTLING | July 25, 2017
PRODUCTION | 5 cases


The Wine

In 1974, a chance meeting between Elk Cove founder Joe Campbell and Windhill winegrower Sandy Reese at Charles Coury’s nursery led to a decades-long relationship. It was late June 1974, and two would-be winegrowers arrived at the Charles Coury greenhouses to pick up their very first vines. Joe Campbell and Sanford “Sandy” Reese hit it off right away. As the summer heated up, they shared tactics for keeping their young vines alive. A friendship grew. With no irrigation and the heat of summer looming, some creativity and hard work was required. Sandy and his wife Ginny turned to hand watering, as did Joe. His kids Fred and Klas, visiting from their home in Sweden, spent the summer watering the 10,000 vines (five acres of Martini-clone Chardonnay and five acres of Pommard/Alsace Pinot noir). Klas was only 10, so 11-year old Fred drove the ancient crawler Lambourgini Tractor as Klas hand-watered each vine from a rusty old tank. At the end of the summer, they had earned skate boards, jeans and comics they couldn’t get back home in Sweden.

“How could you not be friends with Sandy? He was just such a kind person,” Joe recently said. Sandy got his professional start as an actor, radio announcer and playwright, then worked in Portland from 1950 to 1972 as head of the YMCA. “Retiring” as winegrowers, Sandy and Ginny moved to the country to a steep hillside farm in Banks, Oregon, and to a farm they named Windhill. In spite of Sandy’s affectionate term for his fruit as an herbal “mint bomb,” fruit from this vineyard proved to be some of the best in Oregon. Elk Cove’s first Single Vineyard Pinot noir in 1978, possibly the first in Oregon, was made from Windhill fruit. Elk Cove continued to purchase Windhill Pinot noir and Riesling until 1996. After 18 years of purchasing fruit from the Reese family, Pat and Joe purchased Windhill Vineyard in 1996, in a private deal that allowed Sandy to live on the property as long as his health allowed.

The Winery

Founded in 1974 by Pat and Joe Campbell, Elk Cove Vineyards is one of Oregon’s oldest and most respected wineries. In 1995, second-generation winemaker and fifth-generation Oregon farmer Adam Campbell joined forces with his parents to make Elk Cove a multigenerational, family-run operation. Elk Cove now farms sustainably over 380 acres on six separate estate sites in the northern Willamette Valley. The Campbell's goal has always been handcrafted cool-climate ­wines that rival the best in the world.

Learn more about Elk Cove Vineyards
Follow: @elkcove
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