About the Vineyards
XIX is a custom creation from the Echo West Vineyards in Northwest Oregon. Located some 190 miles east of Portland, Oregon, the vineyards are located at the southern end of the Columbia Valley wine-growing region and fed by the Umatilla River, a major tributary of the Columbia. The latitude is right in line with France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy regions and, like those regions, provides around 2 hours more sunlight per day during the critical summer growing season than those of Northern California. The vineyards are also located in a relatively dry microclimate with only around 9 inches of rainfall per year, supplemented by extensive irrigation from the nearby river feeds. This dry climate allows for even more sun locally per day than most areas within Oregon. The result is a longer growing season and further grape development than in other regions.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes used for XIX are grown on 25 acres of volcanic ash and a sandy loam topsoil at 850 feet above sea level, on a bluff overlooking the Umatilla River. This provides excellent drainage and properly limited nutrients in the soil, which causes the grapevines to concentrate those nutrients in the grape clusters themselves. The combination of sun, soil, water, and carefully selected vine stock produces some of the finest concentrated fruit in all the region.
About the Winemakers
Lloyd and Lois Piercy are natives of the American west, both growing up among the richness of beauty the region is famous for. Farmer Lloyd moved to the region first in 1959 with his father and family, where they started growing crops in the deep rural desert. Lois grew up in a remote cabin home without running water near the foot of Mount Adams, in southern Washington state. Her early years were formed in cattle ranching, wheat farming, and the raising of horses.
With the common experience of living close to nature, Lloyd and Lois learned much in their early years about what it takes to leverage the best from the land, sun, rain, flora, and fauna of the Pacific Northwest. In their lives they have grown everything from flowers, vegetables, grains, and forage crops for their livestock. Their shared passion for the land eventually culminated in their acquiring the 3600 acre 1865 Cunha Ranch near Echo, Oregon, in 2002. They spotted the unique possibilities for the bluffs, the soil, and the unique climate as the perfect place for a new generation of wine grapes. Two years after the acquisition the vineyard was up and running, with plantings of 4 acres of Tempranillo grapes, 2 acres of Petit Verdot, and 25 acres of the very Cabernet Sauvignon that have now given birth to the grapes for the first XIX wine. With the help of an expert staff, in just a few short years Farmer Lloyd and Lois have made these vineyards and this winery one of the finest in the Pacific Northwest.
On the Partnership with Keyshawn Johnson
XIX was created in partnership with NFL superstar Keyshawn Johnson. Johnson first rose to star status at USC during the 1994-1995 season, breaking records and catching the eye of the pros early. In 1996 he was the first overall pick in the NFL draft, selected by the New York Jets. He went on to broad fame in 2000 playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and in 2002 was part of their winning team in Super Bowl XXXVII; in 2004 he moved on to join the Dallas Cowboys. He closed out his professional career in 2007 as part of the Carolina Panthers. In 2005 while still active in the league, Johnson co-founded First Picks Management to pursue his business interests in food service, hotels, and real estate. After leaving Pro Football he began a career with ESPN, where he continues to serve as an analyst with the “NFL Countdown” shows and more. He also starred in an A&E Network program on Interior Design in 2009 called “Tackling Design”.