From the Winery:
St. Innocent Winery's produced its first vintage in 1988. We harvested 10 tons, producing 600 cases: a Pinot noir, Chardonnay from Seven Springs VIneyard, and a methode champenoise sparking wine. Our Founder and Winemaker, Mark Vlossak, apprentised under Fred Arterberry at Arterberry, Ltd. In McMInnville beginning in 1987 and the first vintage was made at Arterberry, Ltd. across the street from Oregon's original Pinot noir producer, Eyrie Vineyards. In the summer of 1989, the wines were moved to a leased warehouse in South Salem and our first Chardonnay was bottled. Production increased over the next five years, reaching 42 tons in 1993.
In 1994 St. Innocent Winery purchased land off of Salem Parkway and Mark built his first winery. We continued to grow through the mid 2000's,harvesting about 100 tons per year to produce about 6500 cases each year. During that time, the balance of wines changed, becoming more focused on vineyard-designated Pinot noir. In 2004, Mark began serching for a vineyard to become the winery's estate. In 2006, 18 years after St. Innocent was founded, we purchased a membership interest in Zenith Vineyard, LLC, originally founded as O'Connor Vineyard. This site produced St. Innocent's first vineyard-designated Pinot noir in 1989 and was continuously produced through 1998.
In 2017 St. Innocent Ltd sold its interest in Zenith Vineyard, as well as the Winery, to the Rameys and purchased 47.55 acres in the SE corner of the South Salem Hills. We planted 16 acres of Pinot noir and Chardonnay and finished the new Winery in 2019. With a full commercial kitchen and an expanded Tasting Room, we are focused on food and wine pairings and events. There are food pairings daily as well as an enticing Bistro Board with local cheeses, charcuterie and special surprises. Our Tasting Room overlooks the center of our property with its lovely ravines and pond inhabited by our geese and grey heron.
The winery was designed specifically to meet the winemaking values of our Winemaker, Mark Vlossak. It would be a place to make great wine, designed to optimizing each step in the winemaking process for both our staff and the specific wines we produce. Grapes begin their transformation into wine by being sorted inside, under temperature-controlled conditions, with perfect lighting to ensure only the best fruit is used. They move by gravity into the fermenters and presses. The fermented wines rest underground in our naturally humidified and cooled barrel room, undisturbed throughout the aging process. All our wines are racked without pumping and bottled by gravity.
With our move to Enchanted Way Vineyard, we decreased our production by almost 40%. We stopped producing Pinot noir from Zenith and Justice Vineyards and discontinued Pinot Gris production. This allowed Mark to begin making small amounts of Riesling and up to three sparkling wines. We now harvest about 100 tons of fruit, 70% of which is Pinot noir, producing 6200 cases of wine.