Dundee Hills Estate
NIcolas-Jay is proud to announce the construction of our future home in the Dundee Hills AVA, on a secluded 53-acre, north-facing wooded parcel of this legendary winegrowing region. Come with us as we build our facility and make a home on these deep Jory soils.
Putting Down Roots
Associate Winemaker Tracy Kendall on the new Nicolas-Jay Estate:
"We've found a secluded 53 acres on the north face of the Dundee Hills, naturally sloped in an amphitheater type bowl, the site is unique in both its aspect and presentation. Thus, while the vineyard lies on the north face of the hills, we have 360 degree aspect - an amazing palate to work with for winegrowing. And, importantly, after 6 harvests in shared space we will finally have our own facility to call home - both to make wine and to receive visitors at this incredible location.
The facility will be gravity flow during harvest, allowing us the most gentle reception and processing of grapes from pick bin to vat. We will have state-of-the-art sorting, processing and destemming equipment allowing for as many whole berries as possible and control over what ultimately ends up in the tank. A sorting line designed for 12 people will allow us to sort fruit slowly and with care in the fashion Jean-Nicolas has employed during his tenure as winemaker at Meo Camuzet. Two temperature controlled barrel rooms will allow for overvintaging of wine and maintaining proper temperature and humidity, even in the height of summer.
In terms of the land itself, there are about 25 potential acres of plantable land on site and we are planning on slowly beginning planting both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the fall of 2021. We plan to practice organic and no-till agriculture, just what we do at Bishop Creek, meaning we won't be disturbing the microbiome of the soil, allowing for the highest level of soil health and biodiversity. A pollinator garden as well as a small orchard are also in the plans. Our timetable for planting really starts and ends with doing things carefully: we want to plant slowly and with care, beginning with 7-8 acres and growing from there. The focus will be on planting to soil types rather than specific clonal selections, highlighting terroir rather than singularity of fruit.
Much of the hillside and surrounding property will be left in forest as a habitat for local wildlife. It’s important to leave some of the land untouched and allow the Dundee Hills to maintain it’s natural ecosystem as much as possible. The vineyard slopes up steeply to the south, and you can follow the hills up into Douglas Fir forest. The whole landscape feel magical - we can't wait to share it with our guests."
There are actually two aspects to this project - it’s building a home, both to welcome visitors, and to make the wine on our very own premises. And, of course, taking advantage of the site to plant. It’s a combination of a recognized area, with high potential, and the cooler climate, which is very exciting to us, and although a lot of it is north facing, you do have multiple aspects in the vineyard, and three distinct planting sites.
I want to perhaps try to bring one or two Domaine Méo-Camuzet selections to the States we're still investigating whether or not it’s going to be possible, but I’d like to at least start it, and reserve some of the vineyard for that purpose... that would be very interesting.”
A big difference in our facility from the ones we’ve been in is a place where I will be able to control ambient temperature of the building, and control temperature of the wine. I have a facility [at Méo-Camuzet in Burgundy], and an environment, where the temperatures rise naturally, and are able to stay at a relatively high level for a number of days, and longer, than what I’ve seen in Oregon. In Oregon, the facilities are sometimes much more open, and sometimes, it’s also much colder. - Jean-Nicolas
I think what is really exciting for me is that we both have the ability to put our fingerprints on it, and to create something that has the feel, the culture, and the sense of who we are...When we talk about putting down roots and creating our home, this is quite literally what it is. That is something that’s intangible, but that is really important. - Jay
Follow along with us as we build our new home.