Yet by the late 1960s, the potential to produce life-changing Pinot Noir had lured a handful of winemakers to the remote Willamette Valley. Emboldened by their early successes, vintners from California to the Côte d’Or took notice, and a wave of interest and investment ensued in the following years. A burst of expansion occurred in the early 2000s, when many of the last, best hillside sites were claimed and planted. Premier Pacific Vineyards developed prime vineyard land just as the valley’s vibrant styles of Pinot Noir achieved international renown. One such site, positioned on a southwest-facing slope of weathered volcanic soils, clustered amidst the most historic vineyards of the Eola-Amity Hills, is Zena Crown Vineyard.
Jackson Family Wines purchased the Zena Crown Vineyard just west of Salem in 2013, marking their first foray into Oregon. With cautious optimism, the desire to remain a harmonious neighbor, and the patience to watch this vineyard’s story slowly unfold, they engaged veteran Willamette Valley winemaker TONY RYNDERS and passionate Pacific Northwest native SHANE MOORE to bring Zena Crown Vineyard to life.
Since its third leaf, Zena Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir has been subject to multiple interpretations; it became a sought-after single-vineyard designate for top producers like Beaux Frères, Soter, and Penner-Ash. With the 2013 harvest, however, Zena Crown emerged as a true Oregon domaine. As they adapt to its rhythms and natural oscillations, they seek to explore and manifest the singular voice of this special plot of land, in accordance with the remote and rugged beauty of the Eola-Amity Hills.