17150 NE Hillside Dr.
Newberg OR 97132
21 ac – 60,000 bt
Jay Somers was making beer for a living when he tasted a 1985 Domaine Marquis d’Angerville Volnay Champans and proceeded to lose his mind for Burgundy. As Somers says, “in 30 seconds my life was changed.” Somers pursued his new dream by working harvests at Adelsheim Vineyard, followed by 5 years at Cameron Winery, where he began making his J. Christopher wines in 1996. In 2004 a friendship with German winemaker Ernst Loosen blossomed, which led to a partnership and a multi-million dollar investment in a new winery and vineyard outside Newberg in 2009. Jay’s other partner, in wine and life, is Ronda Newell Somers.
Appassionata, J. Christopher’s estate vineyard, is located in the Chehalem Mountains American Viticultural Area (AVA) where its rocky terrain consists of at least 11 different soil types. It’s also dotted with stands of Oregon white oak trees that, for aesthetic and environmental reasons, Somers refused to tear down for the sake of grapes. J. Christopher purchases fruit from a dozen other prominent vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains, Eola-Amity and Dundee Hills AVAs.
The Medici Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 has significant tannic structure and great acidity, with espresso and red fruit on the nose and flavors of bone marrow and dark cherries. The Abbey Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 (Great Wine) is evidence of this Dundee Hills vineyard’s “Oregon grand cru” stature. It is a shrine to bright red cherries, earth and umami. Croft Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Slow Wine) Somers’ is a winegrower with a minimalist touch who wants his wines to be as layered and complex as a pre-1970 Miles Davis solo. His Sauvignon is as cool as Coltrane with its Sancerre-like minerality, grassy nose, bright acidity and tropical fruit flavors.
FERTILIZERS compost, manure
PLANT PROTECTION copper and sulphur
WEED CONTROL mechanical
YEASTS commercial cultured yeasts, spontaneous fermentation
GRAPES purchase 75%
Images via https://www.jchristopherwines.com/