Hidden Rock

Welcome to Hidden Rocks Estate

We welcome you to Hidden Rocks Estate, a Pinot Noir vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills American Viniculture Area of the Willamette Valley, Oregon. We began our vineyard in 2000 when we took possession of an 80 year old Italian plum orchard. This is a shot of the vineyard in July 2008, looking towards Salem, OR.

2010 was our annus horribilus. We had a long late spring. Bud set was late, then bloom was late. June was the wettest Jun in years, July was one of the drier months, but the temperatures stayed on the cool side. Because of the latness of the season, we were all worried about when the fruit would ripen. So in August we reduced the load to one bunch of grapes per stem. This has the effect of causing the vine to focus on ripening the remaining clusters, but it also reduces the yield. The forecast went to about 30 tons. Our harvest date projection moved from the last week in September, to October 10, then finally to October 18. Meanwhile "here come the birds". The late harvest meant that fruit was on the vines when the migration started. We instituted bird control measures ranging from electronic devices that imitated bird distress calls of Starlings, and Robins, the hunting calls of Red Hawks, and just plain white noise. We also had a man on the fields for three weeks shooting of random noise devices. We did not use the propane guns as they have proved to be usless after about 36 hours, the birds just ignore the noise. All of these measures added to field costs. We picked October 18 and October 21. We bareley eked out 10 tons. The bird damage was severe. The good news is that the qulaity of the fruit picked was excellent in terms of sugar, and flavors.

2009 was a very interesting year, a little late, but not as late as 2008. Bud set was about 10 days earlier than 2008, fruit set was good. Once the vines started growing, they seemed to leap for the sky. The 107 degree days in July did not seem to faze the vines. The canopy seemed to be on super growth mode. We did canopy work several times. Throughout the whole year, the canopy was the greenest we have ever experienced. We were concerned about the size of the crop. At one point, we were estimating 5 tons of fruit per acre. We dropped fruit twice in an attempt to get the yields in the quality range we strive for. Final crop tallies came in at 45 tons (2.8 tons per acre). But the quality of the fruit was outstanding. We ended up with big fat clusters and big fat berries. We noticed that all the fruit on the vineryard, from walnuts to raspbetties seem have much bigger fruit loads this year. We do not know if this is the results of last winter's severe cold spell or not.

2008 got off to very late start with the latest bud break on record for the Willamette Valley. Then we had a long cool summer. The concern was that the fruit would not be ripe before the autumnal rains began. September turned spectacular in terms of weather and October continued the trend. We got a few days of light rain Oct 7,8,and 9. We picked October 10. The wineries had done some fruit drop in late August and we picked a lighter crop this year, 26 tons of high quality fruit. Both wineries have reported great satisfaction with the crop.

The 2007 harvest was forecast to hit 27 tons, but the rains started three days before harvest and the final pick was 42 tons.  The last day of harvest saw  some botrytis but it did not affect the quality.  The juice from this harvest as passed the barrel tasting in April 2008 with flying colors.

The 2006 harvest came in at 23 tons with high quality according to the wine makers.

The first harvest was 28 September 2005 when we harvested 19 tons from the vineyard. This harvest was recorded and we proudly share the occasion with you. The pictures were taken by our daughter. She also arranged the music and show. Pictures of the First Hiddenrocks Harvest This is a large file, we do not recommend you download unless you have a broadband connection.

Looking South to Salem, Jul 2008