Our Wines

2013 Pinot noir Zenith Vineyard

Zenith is our Estate vineyard and located 9 miles NW of Salem, Oregon. The grapes for this wine come from various blocks, most of thm face SE and warm early in the morning. One faces SW and is warmer in the afternoon. Four different clones of Pinot noir are planted: Pommard, Wadenswil, 115, and 777. All the blocks lie on old sedimentary soil at an elevation of 300'.

The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in small stainless and Burgundy oak fermenters with no SO2, allowing the fermentations to proceed naturally. After gentle pressing and settling, the wine aged in French oak barrels, 22% of which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity and without fining.

  • Crop Level: 1.9 tons/acre
  • Harvest: 10/6
  • Bottled: February 2015

Vineyard Details

St. Innocent began producing wines from this site in 1989 when it was known as O'Connor Vineyard. We produced vineyard designated O'Connor Pinot noir for ten years, ending in 1998 when the vineyard was leased to Willamette Valley Vineyards. One of our customers, Tim and Kari Ramey purchased the vineyard in 2002. In early 2006, St. Innocent Winery united with the Rameys and now jointly own Zenith Vineyard, LLC. As part of that agreement, both parties agreed to build an ajoining facility. One part would be an event space owned by Zenith and managed by Kari Ramey. The other would be a new winery owned and operated by St. Innocent Winery. The winery portion was completed just in time for the 2007 harvest. On our 133 acre property, we now have a total of 84 planted acres, of which 13.5 acres of Pinot noir is reserved for St. Innocent's production.

Vintage Description

The 2013 season began quickly with a warm spring and bloom in early June, about two weeks earlier than normal. A moderate summer followed with a large crop. After significant thinning, we looked forward to harvesting in late September. It rained about two inches between 9/4 and 9/5, moisture we needed to keep the plants active and help finish the ripening process.  On September 21 the grapes were very close to perfect ripeness. The clouds moved in again and it began showering intermittently for the next week. On 9/28 a major storm brought four inches of rain over the next 48 hours. On October 2nd, the sun returned with along with dry weather for the next three weeks. Depending on the level of ripeness at each vineyard location, we picked before, during, and well after the rain in late September. Total production for the vintage was 9800 cases.

Tasting Notes

Our Estate wine, the 2013 Zenith Vineyard Pinot noir, has a rich spicy, raspberry and dark cherry nose. The palate begins more gently with dark red fruits, sweeter spices, and some lovely red floral nuances that center on the mid-mouth. As the wine evolves, the sweeter fruit flavors dominate. There is a lovely textural richness that lingers, expecially over your upper palate into its gently fading finish. Its lovely textures, supple tannins, juicy acidity, and a lovely length of concentrated fruit are a signature of this site. The concentration into the finish gently fades and remains juicy with spice and dark cherry flavors. The addition of five new vineyeard blocks into our Estate wine created a breadth and depth of flavor from this engaging and pleasurable site. It will benefit from decanting 1-2 hours before serving and can be aged up to 15 years.


92 Wine Enthusiast, December 2015

Editor's Choice - Look out Rutherford dust, here’s Eola-Amity dust. Soft and yes, dusty, this intriguing wine brings a sensation of well-tanned leather under black-cherry fruit. The finish adds a dash of beet root and leaves with some stiffening tannins. Give it ample aeration and it will improve dramatically.

90 Vinous.com (formerly International Wine Cellar), October 2015, Josh Raynolds

Full red. Spice-accented aromas of black raspberry, cherry and candied flowers, with a mineral element adding vivacity. Silky, broad and appealingly sweet on the palate, offering sappy red and dark berry liqueur flavors and a hint of smokiness. Supple tannins build slowly on a long, focused finish that leaves notes of spicecake and berry skin behind.