The Arboreal Vineyard sits at 1200 feet on Underwood Mountain, with a panoramic view of the Columbia River and Mount Hood. It was planted in 2001 by Joe and Jack Brady, and we fell in love with it long before we were able to buy it. We grow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Gruner Veltliner, in a vineyard nestled between two forests and surrounded by incredible biodiversity. The arboreal birds and animals are our companions through long days working in the vines. Red-tailed hawks, osprey, various owls, bobcats, elk, black bear and turkeys live in these forests and visit us from time to time. Some of them help with the gophers and insects in the vineyard. They all work to form a dynamic ecosystem which we will consistently strive to support.
The soils from the extinct shield volcano of Underwood Mountain are made up of well-draining volcanic loess and loam. These soils are unique to Pacific Northwest wine regions. They can be as deep as 80 feet and retain moisture well, allowing us to dry farm at Arboreal. The vines have deep roots that extend up to 30 feet deep in the nearly rock-free soil. Wines from Underwood Mountain consistently show unique mineral characteristics, along with brighter acidity lending way to Burgundian and Alsace characteristics.
We practice regenerative agriculture and farm organically. Our most important task is restoring the soil health on our site. We are doing this through incorporating the following practices, among others: encouraging diversity in the vineyard floor though seeding cover crops, thoughtful composting; compost tea, use of fish hydrolyse to encourage beneficial fungi, planting wildflowers and native grasses, and by spraying cinnamon oil rather than sulfur. We do not till and hope to incorporate livestock into vineyard care soon.
Arboreal is just across the river from Hood River, about an hour’s drive from Portland, in the Columbia Gorge AVA. This AVA spans Oregon and Washington, and encompasses an incredible array of microclimates. Our site enjoys the last of the wetter maritime weather from the west. As you travel east from Underwood Mountain, you lose an inch of annual rainfall for every mile. Arboreal Vineyard is a magical site, benefiting from the sun exposure of a Southeast-facing slope, the temperature moderation of the Columbia River, and the maritime influence from the Pacific.