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Eyrie Vineyards

Eyrie Vineyards NV Spark

Celebrating the New Year

Where it all started... "You can look at Oregon’s 300-plus wineries and 17,400 acres of vines and trace it to Lett. But he left more than that. He bequeathed a uniquely Oregon ‘wine genome,’ one that others now seek to copy.” - Matt Kramer (Wine Spectator)

Eyrie founder David Lett was convinced that the climate of the Willamette Valley was potentially perfect for growing Pinot noir. At the tender age of 24, with a degree in viticulture, another in philosophy, and eight months of intensive research in European wine regions behind him, David Lett headed for Oregon. He left California with little more than 3000 grape cuttings and a firm conviction that Oregon’s Willamette Valley would be the best home for Pinot noir and Chardonnay outside of Burgundy.

On February 22 1965, David established the modern era of winegrowing in the Willamette Valley when he planted his first vines. David was soon joined by his new wife Diana, and together they planted and expanded their estate on a former orchard in the Dundee Hills. Their plantings focused on the first Pinot noir and Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley, but also the first Pinot gris commercially planted outside of Europe, and other cool climate varieties.

“Three months after meeting David Lett in 1966, I was Diana Lett, standing out in the middle of a field of grape vines in Oregon, with a shovel and a brand new yellow rain-suit. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I was thrilled to be in on the opening chapter of a great adventure." - Diana Lett

David and Diana were deeply impressed by the vibrant ecosystem surrounding their new site. Inspired by a pair of red-tailed hawks who made their nest (eyrie) in the fir trees at the top of the vineyard site, and who kept them company as they worked, it was Diana who christened their fledgling endeavor "The Eyrie". This original planting was the first of the five estate vineyards they farm today.

Eyrie Vineyards

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Eyrie Vineyards, McMinnville, Oregon
NV Spark

Taste: Medium to deep cherry-pink in the glass with aromas of cantaloupe, berries, and citrus along with some secondary notes of stone and toast. Pear and citrus rind develop on the palate over a structure of crisp acids and creamy fruit notes. An initial rush of exuberant bubbles is quickly followed by a soft effervescence. Slight astringency balances the richness from extended lees contact, and deftly carries the mineral finishing tones of blood orange and wild strawberries.

1600 bottles produced

After David's passing in 2008, the legacy is being stewarded by Diane and David's son Jason. “In 2005 I came back to Eyrie as winemaker. I was often asked, “What are you going to change?” My answer was, ‘Fundamentally? Nothing.’

Since then, we have planted new vines and introduced new varieties to the Willamette Valley. We moved to wild yeast fermentations. We developed a 21-step process to guarantee the quality of our library releases. We released single vineyard Pinots from each of our estates for the first time in our history.

In spite of the changes, nothing has changed. Exploration and innovation has been a part of the Eyrie adventure since Dad planted the first vines in 1965. I’m honored to have a part in carrying the journey forward.” - Jason Lett

Viticultural Notes: Grape sources are 86% organically-certified & come from vines on Jory volcanic soils.

Winemaking Notes: To create this wine, Jason blended vintages of Pinot noir fruit (48%), Pinot Meunier (6%), Chardonnay (9%), Pinot Blanc (5%) and Chasselas doré (31%). Fermentation and aging occurred in a mixture of wood barrels and stainless steel. Full malo and an average of 11 months on lees lend a subtle richness with zero residual sugar. The final step: Jason had the wine carbonated to 4.2 atmospheres of pressure and bottled under crown cap.

Fermentation: Stainless and Oak

Production in cases: 2838

Bottling date: July 2021

Appellation: Willamette Valley

pH: 3.24

Total acidity: 6.1 g/L

Residual sugar 0.0 g/L

Alcohol % by volume 11.2

A Cellar 503 selection in January 2024, Sense of Place 2024 Dundee Hills | Chardonnay, Chasselas Doré, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir