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FullSizeRender-9pinot plant tag 2

On my last trip to Oregon’s Willamette Valley I meandered through the lonely vineyards along Ribbon Ridge. It was February, and the fall crush was just a memory, along with the crush of tourists.

At first glance, this field appeared to be freshly tilled and unplanted. But on closer inspection I saw what appeared to be skinny yard sticks stuck into the cool, damp soil. Bending over, I saw neon colored tags at the base of the sticks.

Back home, I zoomed in on this photo to discover the stick I almost overlooked was a baby clone of “Pinot noir 943.” Prince of Pinot says this about my nondescript “stick”: “clone 943 originated in the Côte-d’Or and was introduced in 1989. There is very little published performance information so only generalizations can suffice at this time. It is one of the few Dijon clones that the French have negotiated a royalty payment for every bud sold here in the U.S., so very few nurseries sell the clone.”

Given that these vines are still so young, I’m not sure how many years it will be until they produce fruit, but my interest is definitely piqued. I’m going to have to find out which vineyard this was so that I can check on its progress on future trips and eventually, scout out a bottle.

THE CRUSH, Book 1 of An Oregon Wine Country Romance, is now preordering here for Oct. 25 delivery. (Print format coming soon.)