Barking Dog is a young 15-acre vineyard southeast of Bald Peak State Park near Newberg, Oregon. It is considered a high-altitude vineyard site, rising from approximately 760 feet above sea level to about 1100 feet. Slopes are steep, south facing, and consist of decomposed basalt and marine sedimentary soils. The vineyard is planted with five Pinot Noir clones (Wädenswil, 667, 777, Coury, and Mt. Eden) on 3309 and 101-14 root stock. With commanding views of the Willamette Valley, the Red Hills of Dundee, and Ribbon Ridge, the vineyard offers a secluded, sun-kissed microclimate nestled in the foothills of the Chehalem Mountains AVA.
It’s also where we and our pack of rescued Golden Retrievers call home. As retired US Navy veterans, we have lived all over the world – in Asia, Europe and throughout the United States. But the spectacular beauty and tranquility of Oregon’s wine country stole our hearts. We relocated to the Newberg area in January of 2016 to begin the development of the vineyard. The first clones were planted the following year and by the fall of 2019, we sold our first harvest to more established vineyards in the valley.
By the spring of 2021, we were ready to produce our own vintage, but starting a new label in the middle of a global pandemic presented unique challenges. Fortunately, we were introduced to Archer Vineyard, their recently established custom crush facility, and the winemaker at Blue Note Wine Company, Jim Saunders.. With his thoughtful guidance, we subsequently launched the Barking Dog label and started exploring the potential of our unproven hillside paradise.
And what potential the vineyard appears to have. Full of adolescent exuberance, it produced gorgeous fruit in 2021 with the complexity, structure, and sophistication of more established and mature vines. Given the wonderful flavor profiles of the 2021 rosé, white and red pinot noirs, we see potential for some exceptional vintages in the coming years.
But we are getting ahead of our skis. For now, enjoy our inaugural vintage, and if your palate is encouraged by the clean, well-balanced profiles of our wines, sign up for a newsletter and come back to taste more soon. We don’t know exactly how our young vineyard will mature over the coming years, but it’s off to a flying start.