Grochau Cellars

Grochau Cellars was founded in 2002 with the goal of producing wines true to their terroir with minimal intervention and manipulation of winemaking technique.  Grochau Cellars is the project of John Grochau and his wife Kerri.  After more than 13 years working as a sommelier in Portland, John made the leap into winemaking, first at Oregon pioneer Erath and then as Doug Tunnel’s assistant at the esteemed Brick House Wines for four years. With vineyard selection, Grochau seeks out vineyards dedicated to non-interventionist farming techniques (organic when feasible, sustainably focused, environmentally sensitive) and work closely with the growers so that their fruit sources can become the wines Grochau strives to make. In the cellar the philosophy is pretty simple.  As John says “Don’t screw it up.  Resist the urge to do too much.”  Modern winemakers have such an array of options available to them it’s staggering. Micro-oxygenation. Wine concentrators. Enzyme addition. Not to mention the temptation so many indulge to beat an otherwise fine wine over the head with a battery of new oak.  Grochau eschews all this. Minimal handling, native yeast fermentation, no enzyme additions, minimal use of new oak: these are the hallmarks of their wines. Honest, accurate, true to their roots and to the wonderful subtleties of vintage variation.
“A couple of sips will tell you he’s a purist winemaker interested in finesse, nuance and what can admiringly be called a certain tenderness” – Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator

Wines

Chardonnay Willamette Valley

Varietal: Chardonnay

Color: White

Farming Practice: Organic

Organic (in conversion). Sourced from Bunker Hill Vineyard locatedin the South Salem Hills. Dijon 76 on 3309 Rootstock in 1994/1995, 550-600 feet vineyard elevation with Nekia soil. Grapes were picked on the early side to retain good acidity and whole cluster-pressed at the winery. The juice was settled for 24 hours before transfer to neutral oak barrels. Fermented in barrel with occasional lees stirring. Once dry, the wine completed malolactic and remained sur lie for 16 months. 178 cs produced.

Gamay Redford Wetle Vineyard

Varietal: Gamay

Color: Red

Farming Practice: Certified Sustainable

Certified Organic. The Redford Wetle Vineyard, planted in 2006, is located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of the Willamette Valley. Soil: Jory, Yamhill & WoodburdThe grapes were sorted and placed in the fermenter with 33% whole clusters. The cold soak lasted approximately five days before fermentation started without inoculation. Fermentation lasted approximately 15 days. The wine was pressed and barreled in 4-8 year old barrels, and aged 15 months sur lees, never racking or stirring. 100 cs produced

Melon de Bourgogne

Varietal: Melon de Bourgogne

Color: White

Farming Practice: Sustainable

Sustainable. From the cool climate Stavig Vineyard located in Happy Valley, a cooler pocket of the Willamette located just to the east of Portland which sits on sedimentary soils. Fermented in 7 year old neutral oak using native yeast and aged sur lie for 6 months. 125 cs produced.

Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard

Varietal: Pinot Noir

Color: Red

Farming Practice: Certified Sustainable

Certified sustainable. Bjornson Vineyard is located due south of the famous Seven Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. The vineyard sits on Jory and Nekia soils between 465 ft and 530 ft elevation. The soil here is mainly composed of thinner Nekia soils which have less water holding capacity than they Jory soils of the Dundee Hills. It is due to this and its proximity to the cool winds of the Van Duzer Corridor that the vines struggle a bit more, producing smaller and thicker skinned grapes. The resulting wines are generally darker in color, have more fruity and spicy aromas, are more acidic and tannic in structure, and have darker red and black fruit in profile. Hand-harvested, sorted, and partially destemmed (30% whole cluster with the stems were included in the fermenters). After a five day cold soak, fermentation began on its own, with the native yeast in the winery and on the grapes. The fermentation lasted for 12 – 14 days with the cap being manually punched down twice a day. Aged in 75% used and 25% new French oak on the lees for 18 months. 100 cs produced.

Pinot Noir Commuter Cuvée

Varietal: Pinot Noir

Color: Red

Farming Practice: Sustainable

Sustainable. Sourced from 8 different Willamette Valley vineyards, all farmed organically or sustainably, with an emphasis on the more floral, delicate side of Pinot Noir. Hand-picked, sorted, and de-stemmed and placed in stainless steel for a 4 day cold soak. Native yeast fermentation with no additions. Aged for 7.5 months on its lees in 90% used French oak and 10% stainless steel and then racked directly to tank just prior to bottling.

Pinot Noir Willamette

Varietal: Pinot Noir

Color: Red

Farming Practice: Organic

Organic. The 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a blend of five Vineyards: 30% Bjornson, 30% Finnegan Hill, 20% Cancilla, 15% Zenith, and 5% Anderson Family, all of which farm organically. Grapes were sorted and mostly destemmed; 25% of the grapes went into the fermenter whole cluster, and 20% were fermented in New French Oak. Because it was cool in the cellar, we let the grapes cold-soak for a week. Fermentation began spontaneously. The wine was barrel aged for 18 months in a mix of new and neutral barrels. 600 cs produced.

Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard

Varietal: Pinot Noir

Color: Red

Farming Practice

Zenith Vineyard is located on Zena Road in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. The Grochau blocks sit at 300-350 feet in elevation, face due South, and are composed entirely of the Pommard clone of Pinot Noir. 40% whole cluster fermented. 25% new barrels, 25% single-use, and the remaining 50% neutral French oak. Aged in the barrel sur lie for 18 months. 100 cases produced.

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