Our Wines

2016 Pinot noir Zenith Vineyard Oeil de Perdrix


The Pinot noir grapes come from our Estate vineyard. We pick the grapes earlier than for red wine; about the same time as for making Champagne. We gently press the fruit whole cluster to minimize skin contact, and minimize any color extraction. The almost colorless juice is ferment at cool temperatures - 64º- and the fermentation was stopped just short of dryness. This creates a crisp, refreshing white wine from Pinot noir with just a hint of sweetness.

Crop Level: 3.4 tons/acre
Harvest: 9/04/16
Bottled: January 2017

Oeil de perdrix translates to "eye of the partridge" and is an old name for a very pale rosé wine made from Pinot noir. In many ways it is more similar to German Riesling than Pinot noir except for its plum scents.

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, we build an event space owned by the vineyard and 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 80 planted acres, of which 13.5 acres of Pinot noir is reserved for St. Innocent's production.

Vintage Description

2016 was the third in a string of warm summers and early harvests. It produced the smallest crop of the three. The harvest began with a bit of heat and dehydration in the fruit. The immediately resolved with cooler temperatures and rest of the harvest produced well balanced fruit with lovely flavors and ripe tannins. We finished picking at the end of September, producing a total of 10,200 cases.

Tasting Notes

Very pale with just a hint of pink. Very aromatic with rose water, orange blossom, fresh plum and hints of allspice. Vibrantly fresh and fruit at the entry, the richness and depth of fruit becomes quickly apparent. The mouth reveals complex berry and plum flavors with sweet spice notes, white pepper, cardamom, and ginger. The finish is dry with the spice and fruit notes lingering with surprising depth into the finish.

Mark Vlossak, Winemaker