St. Innocent Winery was founded in May 1988 by Mark Vlossak, the current winemaker and president, and eight investors. Ten tons of grapes were crushed the first fall, producing 396 cases of still and 176 cases of sparkling wine. Production increased to our full capacity of 6800 cases in 2004. The winery is located in Salem, Oregon, at the southeast corner of the Eola Hills, in the mid-Willamette valley.
St. Innocent produces small lot, handmade wines: seven single vineyard Pinot noirs and a blended Pinot noir called the Villages Cuvée, two Chardonnay from Dijon clone plantings, two Pinot gris, and a Pinot blanc.
The philosophy behind the winemaking at St Innocent is that the function of wine is to complement and extend the pleasure of a meal. The characteristics of a wine should enhance different food and flavor combinations - this interaction amplifies the pleasure of a meal. To this end, St. Innocent wines tend toward higher acid levels, and more diverse and balanced flavors.
Freedom Hill is located in the foothills of the coast range 10 miles southwest of Salem, Oregon. The Chardonnay blocks have a southeast exposure at an elevation of 425’ and benefit from heat rising off the valley floor. Hills to the east protect the vines from strong coastal winds. The vines were planted in 1999 and 2006 with Dijon clones 76 and 548 on well-drained silty clay loam.
Vintage Notes: The summer of 2015 started off with intense heat that faded off into a very warm and sunny season. Harvest began early with us first picking fruit on September 2 in cooler conditions. Yields were about 15% higher than normal and fruit was as perfect as I have seen. We continued to harvest throughout September and finished by the end of the month. The balance of flavor, tannin, acid, and sugar were as perfect as I have seen in 29 years. I am excited to see how the wines develop.