Gravity Flow Winery
High quality WillaKenzie Pinot Noir requires gentle handling at every stage of its development. In a gravity flow winery, grapes fall naturally into the fermenting tanks (just like Isaac Newton’s apple fell to the ground!), and wine moves gently from the fermenters to the aging barrels. Here at WillaKenzie Estate mechanical pumps are rarely used. Instead, the multiple levels of our winery buildings exploit the force of gravity to move grapes and wine softly through the processing steps.
The gravity-flow winery concept is simple and elegant, and its worth has been validated by over 500 years of winemaking in Burgundy. The inherent sophistication of the design and higher construction costs make this approach best suited for low-volume production of high-quality wines. WillaKenzie Estate’s multi-level gravity flow winery facility was completed in 1995, just in time for our first crush.
WINERY DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE
The WillaKenzie Estate winemaking facility consists of two hillside buildings with A-frame designs. One of the buildings is the original barn that existed on the property when WillaKenzie Estate Owners Ronni & Bernie Lacroute purchased it in 1991. The barn was completely renovated while maintaining its traditional architecture. The upper level of the barn houses offices and a gallery, while the lower level, which is naturally cool due to the addition of earth berms during renovation, stores bottled WillaKenzie wines. The gravity flow winery building next door was patterned after the original barn, and both buildings pay tribute to Oregon’s traditional farm architecture, blending naturally into the landscape.
To learn more about how the WillaKenzie grapes are processed, fermented, and aged at the winery, see our gravity flow winery pdf.