Jadot pursues ‘purity and truth’ in Oregon

Maison Louis Jadot president Pierre-Henri Gagey has outlined his initial aims for the Oregon vineyard acquired by his company this summer.

Jadot winemaker Jacques Lardière speaking at IPNC in Oregon shortly before his official retirement

Jadot winemaker Jacques Lardière speaking at IPNC in Oregon shortly before his official retirement

In August, Jadot announced its purchase of Resonance Vineyard, an 8-hectare site in the US state’s Yamhill-Carlton AVA, which is also home to producers including Willakenzie Estate, Shea Vineyards, Elk Cove and Anne Amiei.

The project is being overseen by winemaker Jacques Lardière, who officially retired from Jadot in 2012 after 42 years with the Beaune-based producer.

“It’s a good size,” said Gagey of the unirrigated vineyard, which was planted in 1981 and is almost exclusively Pinot Noir. Represented by a mix of ungrafted Dijon, Pommard and the Swiss Wädenswil clones, Gagey admitted “there is a risk” of phylloxera, but suggested that birds were a more pressing danger.

Although Jadot already owned vineyards in both Pouilly Fuissé and Beaujolais, this Oregon venture marked the producer’s first step outside the Burgundy region, following a trail already laid by Drouhin in the late 1980s.

“It’s a question of opportunity – it was not planned,” Gagey told the drinks business, denying any link to Lardière’s attendance at last year’s International Pinot Noir Celebration in Oregon. “We are entrepreneurs so we want to do new things. It’s exciting, it’s fun.”

Although reluctant to set out too much detail at this early stage in the project, he hinted: “The wines that I like are not perfect; they are wines that speak the truth of where they’re from. We are not trying to reproduce Burgundy in Oregon – we are searching for purity and truth. If we can do that then we can be successful.”

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