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On April 1st, 1997, Moe and Flora Momtazi bought 496 (of the now 532) acres of abandoned wheat farm just south of their home in McMinnville, Oregon. Though wild and untouched, Moe’s vision for the Momtazi Estate was born looking out across the thriving hills of land that had been free of chemicals for seven years.
Though using chemicals would have been faster and more economical while building infrastructure and reclaiming the land, not a single one has or will be used throughout the estate. Instead, the ground was turned over multiple times during the summer of 1997 in order to eliminate unwanted plants and weeds while returning the soil to a usable state.
We began planting in March of 1998, with 13 acres of self-rooted pommard pinot noir vines. After months of researching the relationships between specific pinot noir clones, rootstocks and the different soil types found across the estate, over 120,000 plants were grafted in our greenhouses and planted in the vineyard by the end of the summer in 1999.
We believe that 90% of winemaking takes place in the vineyard. Because of this, we have held ourselves to a strict form of land use acting as stewards of the land in order to nurture and reap the rewards naturally. Our alternative approach to chemical use is growing a variety of medicinal and dynamic flowers and herbs that we make into compost teas. By steeping into teas, we’re able to harness the beneficial properties of each flower and herb and embody a “from nature to nature” philosophy. As such, our multiple compost piles and Biodynamic preparations are extremely important for our vineyards because the resulting humus is worked into our vineyard in order to achieve long-term soil and vine health.
Our unique niche in the foothills of Oregon’s Coast Range separates us from valley weather influences providing warmer days and cooler nights with less precipitation during the harvest season. The property has highly diversified soil types consisting primarily of Nekia and Yamhill series, laced with veins of Peavine and Jory. By training our vines to produce between 1.75-2.25 tons per acre, we believe we are getting the best fruit possible from our unique terroir.
We believe that healthy soil and healthy vines will produce superior grapes without the need for extra minerals, chemicals or man-made poisons. Our quality shows in the loyalty of our grape buyers year after year and the award winning wines they produce with our estate fruit. The consistent high quality wines made from Momtazi Vineyards’ grapes lead us to believe that our dedication to both our terroir and Biodynamic farming practices are well worth the effort.