Hiyu is a 30 acre farm in the Hood River Valley. The vines are planted in silt loam over basalt on a southeast facing hillside above the Hood River. Our site lies just 22 miles from the summit of Mt. Hood and the wines are shaped by the weather from the mountain. The place is closest in climate to winegrowing areas in the Alps; the Savoie, Valais and Valle d’Aosta.
The property is composed of 14 acres of vines, 4 acres of field and pasture, .5 acres of market garden, 4 acres of forest and a pond. The rest of the acreage is in grounds that are being moved toward food forests. Outside a little work beneath the vines with a scythe, there is no mowing or tilling and any control of vegetation is done by the pigs, cows, chicken, ducks and geese that live with the vines during different parts of the year. We direct the diversity of plants on the site by seeding directly into the dense growth or behind the pigs as they root around in search of food. We make a single cut of the vines at pruning, but there is no hedging, green harvest, leaf pulling or other interruption of the vines growing cycle. We spray 85% less material than a typical organic or biodynamic vineyard. There is no sulfur used. The primary control of mildew is with cinnamon oil and the other sprays are mixed herbal teas.
The plantings have as much biodiversity as the understory. The property is divided into half acre blocks, each planted to a field blend from a different moment in the genetic history of the grapevine. There are over 80 different varieties of grapes and many more clonal selections planted on the farm.
This is the second release from what is currently a five vintage (13-17) solera of super long macerated (90-120 days) Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from the original 2.5 acre parcel at the top of the hill. It spends the coldest moments of the winter in the fermenter and we press when the snow melts and temperatures begin to rise in the spring.
The wine has the power and swelling richness of chardonnay, the breed and precision of Aligoté and Pinot Blanc, the exotic red essences of Pinot Noir, Meunier and Pinot Gris and the salinity of Melon de Bourgogne.