The original 8-acre block at the top of the sloping vineyard has been underperforming when compared to sections of the 86-acre vineyard planted later with more vines per acre.
Drouhin, founded by Burgundy negociant Maison Joseph Drouhin, planted the original section with almost 2,000 vines per acre in 1988, at the time among the densest plantings in Oregon. But, according to winery manager Bill Hatcher, the wines from that section didn't have the "structure and concentration" of wines from sections planted later at more than 3,000 vines per acre.
The old section will be replanted at the denser spacing with newer clones imported from Burgundy.
Earlier Oregon vineyards contained around 450 vines per acre, spaced widely enough to use standard American tractors. Narrower spacing requires smaller tractors, which had to be imported from Europe. In the past decade, denser planting -- mostly in the 1,500- to 2,000-vine range -- has become standard in newer vineyards.
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