the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.
The famed Willamette Valley AVA in Oregon spreads between the Coast range and the Cascades. The Willamette River runs north through Eugene and into the Columbia River at Portland. Deep rich soils on the valley floor were deposited by the post Pleistocene floods unleashed by melting glaciers. However, these soils are not ideal for growing fine wine grapes. The best terroir for pinot noir lies high above the valley floor in the red rocky volcanic soils on the hillsides. There the vine roots struggle deep into the fractured basalt, seeking out the complexity and vibrant fruit character that marks this wine.
The Plowbuster story begins in the Carabella Vineyard, documented by yearly bills for equipment repairs caused by hidden basalt boulders. The most famous offender caused hidden carnage for years until one day the tractor totally hung up, revealing its lair. Half a day of shovel work later, it now resides at the bottom of the vineyard out of the path of the tractor.
Plowbuster always starts with fruit from Carabella Vineyard. The wine from this boulder strewn site is usually complemented by fruit from other Willamette Valley sites. We always emphasize sustainable farming practices and volcanic soils in our vineyard choices. The blend changes with the requirements of each vintage.