Tertulia Cellars Estate Vineyard: Elevation
Location: Walla Walla AVA in Milton-Freewater, Oregon.
Acreage: 23 acres, with 15 acres planted in 2013.
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Marsanne and Roussanne.
Terroir: Elevation is located along the North Fork of the Walla Walla River. The river acts as a heat mitigating source. The vineyards location coupled with its elevation resting between 1500 and 1700 feet makes this a relatively temperate site in comparison to the rest of the Walla Walla valley. The steep slope of the vineyard provides for excellent air drainage, which contributes to a lower risk of frost damage; the vineyard is south facing which allows for optimum sun exposure. The soil consists of silt and fractured basalt, requiring jackhammers to drill the holes for planting and resulting in the vineyard producing 1-1.5 tons/acre of beautifully concentrated fruit.
Sustainability: In addition to the grape vines, various types of vegetation have been planted throughout the vineyard. The purpose of this is to establish a cover crop. Cover crops reduce erosion, control weeds, fix nitrogen, and create biodiversity within the vineyard. In addition lavender has been planted to host beneficial insects. Weeding is conducted by mechanical means thus eliminating the use of Roundup and other like herbicides. Drip irrigation is utilized as a means to precisely control the amount of moisture the vines receive and reduce overall water consumption.
Cultivation: Much of Elevation is terraced. Two rows of vines are place on each ten foot terrace. Within each terraced row there is four foot spacing. In the steepest blocks, three by three foot rows ascend a 38 degree slope. The high density planting at Elevation is designed to limit the growth of each vine thus concentrating the character in the resulting wines.