From the time my Great Grandparents arrived in Walla Walla in 1902, my family has achieved everything through meticulous hard work. In fact, the silhouette on the label of Toil Oregon is of my Great Uncle William Leonetti taken from a picture with my father planting the first Leonetti Vineyard in 1974. Perhaps the biggest challenge of this endeavor is producing a wine that is the same level of quality that we have been producing at Leonetti Cellar for 40 years. It requires new learning, infinite patience, dedicated diligence, and a willingness to consistently toil in pursuit of perfection.
The original inspiration for making a Pinot Noir from Oregon manifested itself in a simple gravitational pull to “Go West” for a new winemaking challenge. For many years, I have been enjoying Pinot Noir from around the world. I fell in love with how this varietal, especially from Oregon, is a perfect complement to the dense, dark, masculine wines we produce here in the Walla Walla Valley. At its finest, Pinot Noir has such a lovely delicacy, perfume, and levity that it was just impossible for me not to try my hand at creating it.
After nearly 12 years of keen interest and 7 years of searching for the right site, Figgins Family Wine Estates has acquired a 42-acre parcel of extraordinary land in the Chehalem Mountains AVA of Willamette Valley. This will become the Estate Vineyard and future winery home of Toil Oregon! Perched at an ideal elevation of 550–700 feet on a convex hilltop draped with rocky Jory and Saum soils — I am unable to envision a more perfect home for our first, and possibly last, estate Pinot Noir vineyard. The new vineyard, which we began planting in 2016, sits as a convex hill unto itself, but lay in a protected amphitheater that is the result of an ancient landslide from the higher peaks of the Chehalem Mountains. The result is a rock strewn, well drained “rubble pile” that falls away in all directions for ideal water and air drainage. I have supreme confidence that in time it will be capable of producing wines amongst the finest in Oregon.
Toil Oregon was created to acknowledge our past and my commitment to continue to lead my family in bringing you the finest of our efforts. I relentlessly strive to honor the trailblazers of the Willamette Valley and to add to their legacy in the same way newcomers to the Walla Walla Valley honor my father.
This is my journey, this is my Toil, and I cannot wait to share it with you.
COPYRIGHT © 2019 TOIL OREGON.
President & Winemaking Director
Figgins Family Wine Estates