An old family friend from the Washington D.C. area, Ken Cancilla and Haden Fig have a shared history. I had been working on the retail side of the wine industry when I decided to trek West. I knew it was time for a change. By that time, Ken had already relocated to Oregon, having bought an old Christmas tree farm which would become his vineyard. During a trip to the Bay Area, I stopped in the Willamette Valley to help Ken with his plantings. A few years later, when I settled in Oregon to make my own wine, naturally, I wanted to buy fruit from Ken. True to his nature, in 2007, he refused. I wasn’t surprised. In 2008, after I continued to press him, he agreed to sell me fruit from the vines I’d helped to plant. He probably just wanted to shut me up. These days, we buy about half of Ken’s grapes. It’s still not enough.
With its elevation in the northern Patton valley near Gaston, Cancilla is special. Cool, late-ripening fruit from Ken’s organic, low-yield vineyard contributes to the structure of Haden Fig’s signature Willamette Valley Pinot Noir as well as our Cancilla Vineyard designate Pinot. As it always has. And as I hope it always will.
VINEYARD SPECIFICATIONS: Cancilla Vineyard
AVA: Willamette Valley
Owner: Ken Cancilla | Vineyard manager: Ken Cancilla
Vineyard size: 20 acres total | Property size: 53 acres total
Soil: USDA classified as Melbourne | Elevation: 500-600 ft.
Vine age: Planted 1999-2005 | Clones: 667, 777, 114, 115, Wadensvil, Pommard mostly on 3309; 10% on 101-14
Certification(s): LIVE Sustainable; 100% organic since 2009