September 26, 2019

Maison Louis Jadot's First Oregon Venture Resonates in Carlton

Founded in 1859, Maison Louis Jadot purchased their first vineyard, Clos des Ursules, in 1826. A long history of prudent acquisitions and uncompromising standards helped burnish the Burgundy wine house’s venerable reputation over the years. Seeking opportunities in the new world, the forward-thinking domaine settled upon Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 2013.

“Résonance is key for Maison Louis Jadot,” said Thibault Gagey, head of operations, whose own family links with Jadot trace back to 1954. “It is our first and only adventure outside Burgundy. It is not at all something we are doing “for fun” (even if we love it every day), but it is a serious and long-term project.”

CRUSH AT FIRST SITE

Jacques Lardière, Jadot’s legendary winemaker, plays a pivotal part in the success of Résonance. “Imagine the knowledge and experience of Jacques after 42 vintages as winemaker at Louis Jadot, and leading the winemaking at Résonance from 2013!” said Résonance ‘resident’ winemaker Guillaume Large, who lives on site. “When Jacques visited Résonance Vineyard the first time (in 2013) with Thibault Gagey,” Large said, “They told me that this location has an energy. And I can really feel it when I walk in the vineyard.”

Certified organic and dry-farmed, Résonance vineyard sits atop ancient, ultra-fine, marine basalt sedimentary soils. Planted in 1981 by original owners Carla and Kevin Chambers, the 20-acre site slopes southward at elevations ranging between 262 and 492 feet. Cultivars include Pommard, Dijon 777, and Wädenswil Pinot Noir. Sheltered by the nearby Oregon Coast Range, the location enjoys a "rain shadow" effect that blocks rain clouds coming from the Pacific ocean. This proves especially beneficial to delicate Pinot Noir grapes prior to harvest. “When Jacques Lardière and myself visited Résonance Vineyard for the first time, we had a crush for the place at first sight,” Gagey said. “I strongly believe in having a good feeling with a place; usually we are not mistaken.”

Résonance also owns Découverte Vineyard, an 18-acre property located 10 miles from Résonance Vineyard, in the Dundee Hills AVA. At 600 to 690 feet in elevation, the satellite estate includes 12.5 acres of Pinot Noir, plus 2.5 acres of Chardonnay. Large employs massal selection at both vineyards. “I use what I learned in Burgundy about the vineyard to manage our estate vineyards,” he said. “And from 2017, we have planted, and continue to plant, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on our property in Carlton. Now we have our winery, next to our vineyards, so it’s really a great thing to have our technical center so close to the vines.”

“We do not want to make Burgundy in Oregon, this is very important,” Gagey emphasized. “There are, of course, similarities between Jadot and Résonance in the viticulture and winemaking, but we will adapt ourselves to Oregon, not the contrary. Of course, we bring a Burgundian touch/experience to Oregon, but we want to express, as much as possible, the place of Oregon.”

Excerpt taken from: Wine Business
Author: L.M. Archer

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Résonance Vineyard view
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