Oregon’s pioneer winegrowers planted using selections of Chardonnay that had been chosen for California’s climate. They were very late ripening - in Oregon, two or three weeks after Pinot noir. In 1974, David Adelsheim worked harvest in Burgundy and realized that the vines there produced fewer and smaller grape clusters and ripened in tandem with Pinot noir. He suspected that planting clones with these characteristics might be a boon for Oregon’s wine industry. David followed through by helping create a system at Oregon State University that dealt with all the red tape and mandatory quarantines and allowed both Chardonnay and Pinot noir clones to be imported. These so-called “Dijon” clones were eventually released for planting in 1989. This wine is crafted of grapes from three vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains - Quarter Mile Lane (26%), Bryan Creek (20%) and Boulder Bluff (12%), one site on Ribbon Ridge - Redman (13%), one site in the Eola-Amity Hills - Crawford Beck (16%), and one site in Yamhill-Carlton - Marsh (13%). Gentle, whole-cluster pressing was used to separate the juice from the skins as quickly and as cleanly as possible for this Chardonnay. Thirty-five percent of the juice was fermented in neutral barrels to augment textural richness and create a more balanced and complex wine. The remainder (65%) was fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain fruit purity, flavor and aroma. In order to preserve freshness and acidity, this wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation. Production: 1660 cases
Benchmark Oregon Chardonnay from one of the founders of the region. The style of this wine is bright, elegant with crisp acidity. It reflects the cooler northern provence of Oregon with fresh apple and hazelnut aromas that follow through to the palate. This strikes a lovely balance between crisp acidity and toasty richness and is a joy to drink.
It pairs well with rich seafood and poultry dishes, and hard Alpine cheeses - comté, fontina, cave-aged gruyère.