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Eyrie Vineyards

The winery in McMinville in the US state Oregon was founded in 1966 by David and Diana Lett. The name came from a hawk whom Diana saw flying up to the top of a tall fir where he had built his eyrie (Eyrie). A hawk also graces the bottle label. Lett is considered one of Oregon's pioneers of winegrowing, being one of the first to fully rely on European varieties, and planted first in Oregon the varieties Pinot Noir and later Pinot Gris. The Utah-based Doctor of Philosophy enrolled in the University of California for a wine study. Afterwards he spent a year in Northern Europe and studied the cultivation methods for Pinot Noir. While still in California, Clinton studied the climatological data of the last five decades of the Willamette Valley in Oregon and decided to plant there against the explicit advice of the University of Pinot Noir specialists.

Already the first produced vintage 1970 caused a great sensation. At a Burgundian winemaker Robert Drouhin blind tasting in Paris in 1979, Pinot Noir in 1975, only 0.3 points behind Drouhins Chambolle-Musigny the second place. David Lett became internationally famous. This aroused Drouhin's curiosity for Oregon and later induced him to found his own estate called Domaine Drouhin. The vineyards in the Red Dundee Hills cover 20 hectares of vineyards. They are planted with the varieties Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The specialty of the house is the Pinot Noirs, where, according to Lett's philosophy, the wines are vinified so that they have less alcohol content and tannins with a lighter garnet color.

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