Corollary Wines to develop Oregon’s first dedicated sparkling wine estate
US wine producer Corollary Wines is planning to establish Oregon’s first property dedicated exclusively to sparkling wine, after buying 23 hectares (57 acres) of timber forests in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA.
The company, which has been making sparkling wines since 2017 from grapes sourced across the Willamette Valley, will plant 6-8 ha (15-20 acres) of sparkling varieties, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, as well as less commonly used sparkling varieties Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris on virgin land that was previously used for timber. It will also build a dedicated winery and tasting room, which is due to open in 2024, where they can conduct research into sparkling wines.
Planting is due to begin in 2023, once the necessary preparation work has been done, which the company says will be in accordance with principles of permaculture and regenerative agriculture.
Corollary founders Dan Diephouse and Jeanne Feldkamp said they will use the knowledge they’ve gained over the last decade to experiment with root stocks, clones, and row orientation as they work to find the best ways to farm sparkling varieties in the valley.
Corollary Wines produced its first vintage in 2017, after the duo recognised the potential of Oregon’s geography and climate for sparkling – hillside sites that provided the right balance of sun exposure and marine influence, along with cool nights to help the fruit retain acidity without sacrificing ripeness. It currently produces around 1,100 9L cases annually.
Feldkamp said she believed the Willamette Valley was “one of the best places on the planet to make world-class sparkling wine” and there was saw an opportunity to explore different sites and styles of bubbles.
Corollary’s early years have been about exploration — about understanding, in broad strokes, the relationships between site selection, farming choices, winemaking practices, and the finished wines,” she said. “Now, with our own vineyard, we’re thrilled to take the next step in our journey: creating an integrated, regenerative agricultural system completely focused on farming for bubbles.”
The estate will be managed by Jessica Cortell, owner of vineyard management company Vitis Terra Vineyard Services, who helped them find the site and who has been instrumental in assisting the team source grapes from growers and farmers across Willamette who are committed to organic, biodynamic, or LIVE certified farming.
“There are so many things we don’t yet know about farming specifically for sparkling wine,” says Cortell. “Through thoughtful design, choice of plant material, and methodical experimentation, Corollary’s new vineyard will help the whole industry better understand the connections between how we farm and what we produce.”