J. Christopher Winery Open on Thanksgiving Weekend

Visit the new J. Christopher Winery this Thanksgiving weekend in Newberg, Oregon
Visit the new J. Christopher Winery this Thanksgiving weekend in Newberg, Oregon
The 2010 harvest is under way at our new, partially completed J. Christopher Winery in Newberg, Oregon, and we want everyone to know that the new winery will be open for visits and tasting on Thanksgiving weekend.

This will be a great opportunity to taste the full range of J. Christopher Pinot Noirs from the much-acclaimed 2008 vintage, as well as white wines from 2009.

Open hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 26-28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tasting fee: $10
Location: 17150 NE Hillside Drive, Newberg, Oregon
Phone: 503-231-5094 (office); 503-554-9572 (winery)
Directions to the winery: please visit www.jchristopherwines.com/events

This is the 15th vintage for J. Christopher Wines (established by Jay Somers in 1996), but the first in the new winemaking facility, which is being built as part of a newly formed partnership between Ernie Loosen and Jay.

Pinot Fermenters at the new winery
Pinot Fermenters at the new winery
The winery is on a 40-acre parcel in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, near the town of Newberg. Phase One of the winery construction – the barrel cellars – was completed shortly before the harvest began. Phase Two – the fermentation building – is scheduled to be completed before the 2011 harvest.

For this year’s harvest, however, Jay was able to squeeze all of the barrels and fermentation vats into the barrel cellar space. Jay says: “Since all the barrels of 2009 are still at the old winery, we had enough space at the new place for this year’s production. But next year, when we will have two years’ worth of barrels in the cellar, we will definitely need the new fermentation area to be complete.”

The 2010 J. Christopher harvest team, sorting fruit.
The 2010 J. Christopher harvest team, sorting fruit.
In addition to the new winery building, five acres of Pinot Noir have been planted on the property under the name Appassionata Vineyard. Another four acres of Pinot Noir will be planted in 2011, as well as two acres of Sauvignon Blanc. Further plantings will follow in subsequent years, with a total potential vineyard area of about 24 acres.

Ernie says: “Our hope is that the estate vineyard will produce really excellent fruit and become the primary source for the special-selection ‘Appassionata’ Pinot Noir that Jay and I have been doing. The soils and location of the site are quite interesting, and we’ll be farming it very carefully, so we think it has good potential.”

Currently, all of the fruit for J. Christopher is sourced from other vineyards, primarily in the Dundee Hills AVA, but also from other areas of the Willamette Valley. This includes highly regarded vineyards such as Abbey Ridge, Le Pavillion, Bella Vida, Charlie’s Vineyard, La Colina and Croft.

Hope to see you at the new winery on Thanksgiving weekend!