Raptor Ridge Estate’s Tuscowallame Vineyard is located in Oregon’s beautiful Chehalem Mountains about 25 miles southwest of Portland. The vineyard site slopes east-southeast with sweeping views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams—and on a very clear day, even Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier. At about 500 feet in elevation, this gently sloping land is frequently visited by red tailed hawks, Peregrine falcons, barn owls, and great horned owls. Tuscowallame is an indigenous word meaning “place where the owls dwell.”
by Shannon Gustafson
Purchased in 2000, the site was a defunct cherry orchard. A year was spent digging out over 2000 cherry trees, ripping and cross ripping the soils to remove ancient cherry roots. The vineyard was planted in three phases, and each block is named for the vineyard manager who planted it. Adalfo’s Block was planted in 2001 by Adalfo Jimenez and was a ‘test block’ with a field blend of 115, 667, and 777 clones of Pinot noir and 1.5 acres of Grüner Veltliner. Macario’s Block was planted by Macario Ramirez in 2004, and contains Pommard, 667, and 777 clones of Pinot noir. Dustin’s Block was planted in 2007 by Dustin Miller, and contains Pommard and 114 clones of Pinot noir. Elevations range from 250 to 498 feet on our Loess-based Laurelwood soils with Jory underlayment.