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Dion Vineyard

Dion Vineyard 2018 Pinot Noir

The god of the harvest and wine

My son is obsessed with Greek mythology. Has been for years. Learning the various gods’ and demigods’ names, powers, and lineage with astounding facility is only one of his talents. Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Poseidon are all big in our house.

Of course, in the wine business, it’s Dionysus that looms large – the god of the harvest and wine, and the namesake of Dion Vineyard in Cornelius, Oregon. First planted in 1973 by Kevin Johnson’s parents, Ron & Joanne, their beloved Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes have been in demand for many well-known winemakers for decades.

At first, Kevin had no interest in the family business and was content to manage the vineyard from a distance and sell their entire crop. He nurtured his own passions for aeronautical engineering and created his own path in the world of airplanes, space shuttles and drones. But a decade ago, the viticulture bug bit and Kevin gave up his engineering career.

Under his direction, Dion Vineyard became LIVE Certified back in 2009. For him, and his equally talented spouse, winemaker Beth Klingner, sustainable farming has a direct impact on the expressiveness of his wines. With fewer inputs, the land can shine through more clearly.

Dion Vineyard

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Dion Vineyard, Cornelius, Oregon
2018 Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a delicate fruit, a major reason why it’s so prized by wine lovers. The land, water, and climate shine through so clearly – and it certainly does in this 2018 by Dion.

As Kevin notes, 2018 will be remembered as hitting a “sweet spot” for Oregon wine. The growing season had plenty of heat, without being too hot. Healthy vineyards, a modest crop, and a dry fall led to an almost perfect harvest where the grapes were picked at the perfect time.

The final blend is a combination of five different Pinot Noir clones from the Dion Vineyard, leading to a wine that has more grace than power – higher acidity and lower sugar levels than the warm vintages of earlier years. We’re really lucky to be able to share this special wine with you, bursting with fruit flavors and the complexity that only comes from time.

This month, we’re featuring wines from the new Laurelwood AVA, officially recognized by the federal government in 2020. Laurelwood is a sub-AVA of the Chehalem Mountains AVA (in turn a sub-AVA of the Willamette Valley.) In 2018 the AVA didn’t exist, but going forward, this wine will have the Laurelwood AVA on its label.

A Cellar 503 selection in October 2022, Laurelwood AVA Laurelwood District | Pinot Noir