Johan Vineyard, Van Duzer Corridor, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Empty bottle weight: 21.6 ounces // 613 grams
Biodynamic, organic, Demeter, native yeast
Johan Vineyard is a sprawling, biodynamically-farmed 175-acre property located in the newly approved Van Duzer Corridor AVA. The appellation is named for the weather phenomenon we refer to as the Willamette Valley’s air conditioning. At about 3pm on warm summer days, when the afternoons heat up to 65-70°F, a wind event is triggered that sucks cool air inland from the Pacific Ocean, through a small gap in the Coastal Mountain range. The wind can be pretty intense, and if you’re out wine tasting and not prepared for it, it can blow over wine glasses and rip patio umbrellas.
The Van Duzer winds also have quite an effect on the grapes grown at Johan Vineyards. The grapevines produce smaller berries with thicker skins that help to concentrate their flavors and retain more natural acidity. Since the grapevine clusters have regular airflow, the wind also helps to mitigate some diseases, including powdery mildew.
I found this quote on Johan’s website that speaks volumes about their wine growing philosophy:
A combination of four Chardonnay clones, three known for high levels of acidity, plus a smidge of Dijon, were all combined together before aging for 19 months in oversized barrique barrels. The resulting wine had aromas of freshly cut and charred lemons, along with toasted marshmallows and barrel toast.
This Chardonnay had a really nice texture and weight to it! With bright acidity and an earthy hint of asphalt, lemons really are the star of the show here, with flavors of tart lemons, fresh lemon zest, and grilled lemons.
Food pairing suggestions:
Chicken pot pie // crab cakes and potato salad // roasted spaghetti squash carbonara
Michele Francisco, a founder and regular contributor to Winerabble, a blog primarily about Pacific Northwest wines, is living the dream in Portland, Oregon. Her passion leads some to believe she's got wine running through her veins. Contact Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.