Our 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 the Lacroutes 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 wine. 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.
High quality 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. 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 concept is simple and elegant, and its worthiness has been validated by over 500 years of winemaking in Burgundy. The inherent sophistication of the design and higher construction costs make thisapproach best suited for low-volume production of high-quality wines. Our multi-level gravity-flow facility was completed in 1995, just in time for our first crush.