Ritner and Nekia soils formed from layers of volcanic basalt are our soil foundation.
Volcanic formations laid down these soils, each of which varies some in their composition. The Nekia soil, a silty clay loam in nature, is found in our more steeply sloped ares. The Ritner soils are more gravelly silty clay loam in nature and found on the gentler sloped areas. In these naturally well-drained yet shallow soils, the grape vines send roots deep and the minerality of the site is expressed in the fruit and wines.
The growing season is long, and frequent rains means moisture is abundant most of the year. The primary weather influence is the Pacific Ocean from which air masses move West to East, greatly moderating extremes of hot and cold temperatures. Although the climate is generally moderate, we do have hot days. In 2015 we had a record twenty-five 90º or higher days in the Willamette Valley.
These occasional hot days along with mostly moderate temperatures and cool evenings are perfect growing conditions for cool varietal grapes like Pinot Noir.
Bieze Vineyard benefits from the cool breezes that flow nightly from the West across our site. These breezes come through the Van Duzer Corridor, a break in the Oregon Coast Mountain Range. The breezes are responsible for the cool evenings which follow the bright afternoons.
Sunny days with cool evening breezes are perfect conditions for developing the full expression of flavors and complexity we desire in our fruit.