Harry Peterson-Nedry was born into a farming family and spent his early years becoming attuned to the cycles of nature: "A hot, bright, lazy summer with workers trying to stay ahead of vegetation, trying to stay cool until evening coastal breezes help set a 10 p.m. sun; harvest sounds from machinery deep in the rolls of hillside orchards and vineyards continuing into night, driven by rains not yet seen but certain; and extended periods when repairing equipment or staring out of raindrop-splayed windows, coffee cup in hand, captures the day."
By the late 1970s, after years off the land, Harry was ready to combine his pastoral roots with his passion for wine. In 1979, he and his family had begun to search for vineyard land in the newly formed Oregon wine country. That beginning methodically yielded the first vineyard site planted to grapes on Ribbon Ridge at the extreme western end of the Chehalem Mountains, a vineyard they first planted in 1982 and named Ridgecrest Vineyards.
Peterson-Nedry is a Pinot freak, and like all Burgundy lovers he knew that to make truly extraordinary Clos Vougeot, it wasn't good enough to just have vines in Clos Vougeot--one must have perfectly placed and farmed vines in Clos Vougeot. Pinot Noir is a remarkably temperamental variety, one in which the search for perfect hillsides and soil composition has befuddled winemakers for decades. As such, it's no surprise that his search for excellence at Ridgecrest begat further pursuit of perfection. That search gave birth to Ribbon Ridge, the most talked about Pinot Noir in Oregon today.
As Harry describes it, "Ribbon Ridge Winery wines are the best wines we can source from our 164-acre estate, and from the oldest plantings on Ribbon Ridge. They are not designed for a mass market, but for serious aging and for understanding the potential of this special land mass called Ribbon Ridge." Their concentration, their blackness, their elegance, their textural excitement all stem from the vineyard: its maturity; deep penetration of dry-farmed vines to find rock, nutrients, and water; organic farming; limited yields and sensitive fermentation to protect vintage characteristics.
In 2002, Harry made just 12 barrels of Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir--that's only 250 cases! This wine is medium to dark ruby in color and offers aromatic as well as flavor profiles packed with lush blackberries, assorted dark fruit, and chocolate. It's a medium- to full-bodied, big, dense, powerful Pinot of considerable concentration, depth, and length. Drink now-2014.