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Tracy Kendall
August 14, 2019 | Tracy Kendall

Nicolas Jay in Forbes

Our own Tracy Kendall had the opportunity to talk with and explain the Nicolas Jay project, and what it means to make Pinot in Oregon. 

"For Meo and Kendall, making the best Pinot Noir they can from their vineyards is all about a particular philosophy. "We are always working to make a wine that more stylistically approaches an Old World Pinot and the style of Meo Camuzet rather that utilizing the exact same winemaking techniques. The philosophy is centered around making wines that he likes to drink, wines with elegance, tension, restraint, balance and integration - whether he is making them on this side of the ocean or the other."

I also wanted to know about recent weather developments in Oregon, especially as Pinot Noir is best when it is grown in a cool climate. Had they seen evidence of climate change? For Burch, who has been in Oregon for 11 years, "we are seeing a shift to earlier picking." He recalls that Pinot Noir was harvested in late August in 2016, and that 2017 was very hot, "with 90 days of really hot weather."

Kendall has also witnessed climate change, noting that the winery is new enough (first release from the 2014 vintage) "that we have been making wine in the newer 'hotter' climate since the beginning." She notes that harvest is frequently weeks ahead of average, but she is positive that they can make notable wines in this environment. "I believe the Pinot Noir is still growing beautifully in this climate and we are able to make world class wines, but there is definitely an impact on the growing season and harvest dates."


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