Antica Terra

Antica Terra is “not a vineyard that a same person would have planted”, to quote its winemaker. It is a rugged forty acre parcel nestled in the Eola-Amity Hills of the Willamette Valley, an area to the south of Yamhill-Carlton (the epicentre of Willamette wine country) with a reputation for structured and deeply flavoured Pinot Noir with bright acidity.This is because it lies next to one of the gaps in the north-south Coast Range, the Van Duzer Corridor,. This allows cool ocean winds to flow inland and has a dramatic cooling influence on summer evening and night-time temperatures especially. The vineyard faces southwest and sits on the crest of a hill whose soils were formed by glacial action during the Missoula floods. There is more rock (volcanic basalt from ancient lava flows with marine sedimentary rocks and alluvial deposits) than actual soil: a mixture of sandstone and alluvium filled with oyster shells.The winemaker here is Maggie Harrison who made her name as assistant winemaker at Sine Qua Non in Ventura, California. The vineyard was planted with Pinot Noir in 1989. Maggie and her investors purchased the site in 2005 when there were just six acres of vineyard. They have since increased it by twenty acres, no mean feat given the intensely rocky make-up of the site.  Indeed this task involved the extraction of a mind-boggling 3,600 tons of rock, which gives a good idea of the rocky, soil deprived nature of the terrain.

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