Twelve is owned and operated by John & Linda Lenyo of Carlton, Oregon. Our first vintage was 2003 and all wines are from our estate vineyard.
JUST THE FACTS
Twelve is owned and operated by John and Linda Lenyo of Carlton, Oregon. Linda handles the tasting room, marketing and wine club and John manages the vineyard and winery work.
Our first vintage was 2003, and to date all Twelve wines have been ‘estate’, i.e. made only from the fruit of our own vineyard. Our 12.5 acre vineyard is LIVE-certified and part of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. It includes blocks of the Pommard, Wadenswil and 115 clones of Pinot Noir. We also have a small block of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris which forms our Estate White bottling. Our vines range in age from 15 to 30 years old.
People do want to know where the name came from. It all started with the discovery that every other name we liked proved to be already taken – in English, French, Spanish and Italian. We went through baby name books, star maps, and every combination of geographic feature and animal (Coyote Ridge, Hawk Valley, etc…) and didn’t like anything.
After about 12 months (it actually was exactly 12 months), we sat down one night determined to come up with a name. We of course started drinking and finally decided on numbers as a direction, eventually winnowing the possibilities down to ‘eleven’ and ‘twelve’. Somewhere close to the end of the second bottle of wine, John remembered one of his favorite movie scenes – the ‘it goes to eleven’ scene from ‘This is Spinal Tap’ (type ‘goes to eleven’ into YouTube if you’d like to see it). We decided that our wine had to be one number higher than the dials on Nigel’s special amplifier, hence ‘twelve’.
We don’t make a lot of wine, so we have the ability to make it very carefully. Every cluster is hand-sorted, fermentation happens in small 1½ ton fermenters, and we keep our various vineyard blocks separated until we do our final blends. We do both 100% destemmed lots and partial whole cluster lots depending on the vintage and the state of the grapes. Since 2008, we’ve been aging our wines for two winters in the cellar and bottling unfined and unfiltered. All of our Pinots are aged in French oak barrels – our estate blend tends to have 20-30% new barrels in the mix and our reserves typically have 50% new barrels. Our very unique Estate White is aged for two winters in a stainless steel tank – we believe the extra time on the lees imparts some nice texture while not sacrificing the crispness of the wine.