OREGON, WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Cristom’s founder and owner, Paul Gerrie, used his skills as an engineer and avid researcher to pursue his passion for wine. On his travels to France, he was introduced to the traditional growing practices of the Burgundy region. He learned that soil (terroir) and site were key in developing the complexity of the fruit.
After a 1991 visit to the International Pinot Celebration in Oregon, Paul decided the time was right to leave the East Coast and bring his family and his passion for great Pinot Noir to Oregon’s burgeoning wine country.
But their journey wasn’t complete without a winemaker who shared Paul’s vision of “letting the land make the wines.” Enter Steve Doerner who, after a quarter century of experience, still believes the winemaker’s job is to “optimize what nature — the vineyard — provides.” In addition to his reputation as a master winemaker with “keen intuition” (possibly from his French heritage), Steve is a biochemist who had been making wine in California.
And so with a passion that only wine enthusiasts embrace and a precision that can only come from a chemist and an engineer, the two set out to cultivate their vision, which today, can be seen in the seven distinct vineyards on Cristom’s 65 acres.