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
Pinot Noir Commuter Cuvée
Varietal: Pinot Noir
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
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.