Cristom Vineyards
6905 Spring Valley Road NW
Salem, OR  97304
FAX:  503-391-7057



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Depth, power and finesse...
The three-part harmony of Cristom wines

Pinot Noir and Beyond... the Cristom story        Winery's General Information

     If Cristom Vineyard's winemaking were music, harvest would be the trumpet fanfare, crush would be a symphony, and the final wines would be an ode to joy.  GracefullySteve Doerner, Cristom Vineyards winemaker conducting the music is world-acclaimed and gifted   winemaker Steve Doerner whose intuitive style hallmarks his wines with harmony.

      Using natural methods, native yeast and minimal handling, Doerner combines new-world technology with old-world traditions to produce some of the Willamette Valley's finest wines... pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris, viognier and syrah.  He became familiar with these techniques and traditions during 14 years of fashioning fine wines in California before he came to Cristom in the early 90s.  Today, he is known internationally as a master of the world's most challenging and most rewarding grape... pinot noir.

      "Only pinot noir can give you a silky finesse that also has depth and power," Steve claims. "You can't achieve that harmony with other grape varieties."

       It was the promise of great wines that first drew owner's Paul and Eileen Gerrie to Oregon and the hills of what would be Cristom's home.  They conceived of a place where the succulent pinot noir fruit could achieve full expression, a place where hand-crafted, complex wines would be bold, yet balanced... both powerful and elegant. 

       Toward that end, Steve also plays an integral role in vineyard management and experimentation.  "It's all about finding ways to bring about the gradual and full ripening of the grapes," the seasoned Willamette Valley vintner notes as he describes various experimental canopy-management techniques being tested side by side in specific vineyard blocks.

         An abundance of soil types and sloping lands are the raw materials for the distinctive grapes thriving in Cristom’s estate vineyards; it is from these grapes that Steve Doerner artfully coaxes elegant and nuanced wines of the pinot persuasion and a global reputation.  As Steve has pursued his passion, the Gerries have realized their vision of a world-class pinot noir winery.  Part of that vision came into focus when son Tom Gerrie enthusiastically stepped into the role of Cristom proprietor as his parent moved on to a well-earned retirement.

       Not much changes at Cristom Vineyards... and that's a very good thing.


General Information

Winemaker:   Steve Doerner
Proprietors:  Paul & Eileen Gerrie

Vineyard Acreage, Eola Hills:
  65 acres
Average Annual Production
12,500 cases per year
Products and Ordering:
Pinot noir, Syrah, Pinot gris,
Chardonnay and Viognier
Tasting Room Hours
Tues - Sun, 11 - 5 pm
Closed Major Holidays
Call for Winter Hours
Special events Wine bottle

Picnic Area   Wine bottle
with vineyard views     

Large Tasting Room  Wine bottle
Wine Clubs  Wine bottle 

"The Original Club"
"The Four Ladies Club"
"The Red Only Club"

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Tasting Fee: $10 per person
Refundable with a purchase of wine
Nonrefundable for groups larger than eight

Groups are welcome with advance notice.
Please call Jeri in the tasting room to schedule visits.
(503) 375-3068

      Cristom Vineyards is located between Salem and McMinnville in the beautiful Eola Hills of the North Willamette Valley's prime wine country.  Visitors are invited to the tasting room March through December.  A gift shop is located on the premises. 

    Add your name and address to Cristom's mailing listWrite, fax or send an email to start taking advantage of news about the current vintage and new releases.


Featured Cristom Wines

The Vineyards of Cristom

       Cristom cultivates eight distinct vineyards planted to Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Viognier and Syrah; currently a total of 65 acres are in production. The vineyards are dry farmed with the focus on quality fruit with low yields and high density planting.  Cristom's vineyards are named for family matriarchs.  The six ladies' vineyards each have natural variances in soil and elevation, and the grapes they nurture were selected to highlight each vineyard's distinct attributes.  People often identify a favorite among Cristom's 'ladies,' recognizing that each nurtures a style and flavor all her own.  In the end, each Cristom vintage produces a distinctive expression of the entire growing year, the specific site and the imprint of the winemaker's hand. 

2013 Estate Pinot Gris
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley

90 pts - Wine Spectator
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Made exclusively from Cristom's 5-acre estate vineyard.  The Cristom Pinot Gris is fermented in stainless steel tanks and does not spend any time in oak barrels.  It has a certain creaminess that comes from the several months that the wine spends on it lees.  Typically, the wine has bright citrus-blossom aromas that range from tangerine zest to lime blossom.  Apple, pear and melon are the fruit flavors that are often noted on the palate. This is a bright and lively wine that offers a broad flavor profile. It has a very natural affinity with food.  This tends to be a more food friendly version of Pinot Gris with uplifting acidity and great concentration.  First Vintage 1995.  Production about 1000 cases.

2011 Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley
89 pts - Stephen Tanzer International Wine Cellar
90 pts - Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
89 pts - Wine and Spirits Magazine

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Produced since 1994, Mt. Jefferson Cuvee is regularly rated one of the most popular Pinot Noirs on restaurant wine lists across the country. Made with a blend of grapes from each of the estate vineyards, and top quality fruit traded or purchased from neighboring vineyards, the Mt. Jefferson Cuvee conveys a rich diversity of place, deserving of its reputation as one of the most expansive yet stylistically consistent Pinot Noirs in the world.

Origin: 79% Eola-Amity Hills, 11% Coastal Foothills, 8% Yamhill Carlton District, 1% Dundee
Clones: Dijon (113, 114, 115, 667, 777 and 828); Pommard & Wädensvil
Fermentation: Although this wine is made from many individual lots, they were generally fermented with 37% whole clusters. Native yeasts were used exclusively in open-top fermenters ranging in size from one to 12 tons.
Aging: Twelve months in French cooperage, 13% new oak
Bottling: Unfiltered on December 12, 2012
Alcohol: 13.2%
Total Acidity: 5.7 g/l
pH at bottling: 3.74
Production: 8569 cases produced

Winery Notes:  The Mt Jefferson Cuvée is the first of our six Pinot Noirs to be released each year and has been produced at Cristom since 1994. It is named for Mt Jefferson (10,501 ft) in the Cascade Range that is due east of Cristom and dramatically visible from our tasting room. Made with a blend of grapes from each of the estate vineyards, the Mt. Jefferson Cuvee conveys a rich diversity of place, deserving its reputation as one of the most expansive yet stylistically consistent Pinot Noirs in the world.

Aromas: Brooding deep Oregon-strawberry, pekoe-tea leaves, cola notes
Taste Impression:
 Great vitality & liveliness, core of seductive ripe fruit, very pretty & complete wine
 best in 3-4 years, but may pleasantly surprise you at 8-10 years

2010 Sommers Reserve Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley
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91 pts - Stephen Tanzer International Wine Cellar
91 pts - Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

Sommers Reserve is comprised of grapes from our four estate vineyards, along with some
traded or purchased fruit. It contains fruit from multiple vineyard sites that include seven
different Pinot Noir clones. Cristom introduced the “Sommers Reserve” with the 2004 vintage,
replacing the Cristom Reserve designation and continuing stylistically as the same wine.
‘Sommers’ is Jessie’s (of Jessie Vineyard) maiden name.

Origin: 87% Eola-Amity Hills (78% estate fruit), 6% Yamhill-Carlton, 5% Willamette Foothills,
2% Dundee Hills
Appellation: Willamette Valley
Fermentation: Although this wine is made from many individual lots, it is generally fermented with 38% whole clusters.  Native yeasts were used exclusively in open top fermenters ranging in size from one to seven tons.
Aging: Seventeen months in Burgundian cooperage, 49% new oak
Bottling: Blended and bottled unfiltered on March 24, 2012
Alcohol: 13.2%
Total Acidity: 5.4 g/l
Production: 2293 cases

Winery Notes:

Aromas: Cherry-cola, red forest berries, forest floor, a bit meaty
Taste Impression:
Red-velvet, camphor, sweet spice, balanced and very complete
Mid-term cellaring

2011 Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley
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91 pts - Wine Spectator Insider

Louise Vineyard is typically the last single vineyard wine to be released. The wine is more heavily textured, dark-fruited and more concentrated in flavor than any of our other estate Pinot Noir. We often find creamy-mocha latte notes on the bouquet co-mingling with dark red fruits that are reminiscent of fresh mulberries, very ripe blackberries, plums and black cherries along with hints of chocolate. We recognize Louise by a delightful velvet texture and a full and persistent finish.

Origin:  100% Estate fruit
Clones:  Dijon clones (114, 115, 777), Pommard and Wädenswil
Sub Appellation: Eola-Amity Hills AVA
Appellation: Willamette Valley
Aging: 19 months, Burgundian cooperage, 54% new oak
Fermentation:  42% whole clusters; 1 to 5 ton open-top fermenters; Native yeast used exclusively
Unfiltered on June 7, 2013
Alcohol: 13.4%
Total Acidity: 5.8 g/l
pH at bottling: 3.86
Production: 630 cases

Winery Notes:  This 9.5 acre site is the oldest of Cristom's estate vineyards, with planting begun in 1993.  It is planted at the high density of 2300 vines per acre. The volcanic soils are predominantly of the Ritner type. It
is Cristom's lowest elevation hillside vineyard. Curiously, the parking lot block of Louise is often the first
vineyard to be harvested at Cristom and the upper block of Louise is often harvested last because it
lies in a sun shadow just below the woodland on our hillside.

Aroma: a dusting of cocoa powder, orange zest, fleshy, lavender-purple flower
Taste Impression:  great concentration, creamy, refined, velvety
 will soften in the short term and evolve for many years


To order any of our currently available wines
or those soon to be released:


Finding Cristom Vineyards

Map to Cristom Vineyards in the Eola Hills of Oregon's Willamette Valley

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Copyright © 1997- July, 2014   Susan R. O'Hara.  All rights reserved.
Last revised: 07/01/2014