Oregon, United States
Hiyu is a 30 acre farm in the Hood River Valley. Guided by nature and inspired by ideas from biodynamics and permaculture we tend vines, raise animals, garden, cook and make wine to reveal an experience of place. The vines are planted in silt loam over basalt on a southeast facing hillside above the Hood River. Our site lies just 22 miles from the summit of Mt. Hood and the wines are shaped by the weather from the mountain. The place is closest in climate to winegrowing areas in the Alps; the Savoie, Valais and Valle d’Aosta. The property is composed of 14 acres of vines, 4 acres of field and pasture, .5 acres of market garden, 4 acres of forest and a pond. The rest of the acreage is in grounds that are being moved toward food forests. Outside a little work beneath the vines with a scythe, there is no mowing or tilling and any control of vegetation is done by the pigs, cows, chicken, ducks and geese that live with the vines during different parts of the year. We direct the diversity of plants on the site by seeding directly into the dense growth or behind the pigs as they root around in search of food. We make a single cut of the vines at pruning, but there is no hedging, green harvest, leaf pulling or other interruption of the vines growing cycle. We spray 85% less material than a typical organic or biodynamic vineyard. There is no sulfur used. The primary control of mildew is with cinnamon oil and the other sprays are mixed herbal teas. The plantings have as much biodiversity as the understory. The property is divided into half acre blocks, each planted to a field blend from a different moment in the genetic history of the grapevine. There are over 80 different varieties of grapes and many more clonal selections planted on the farm.