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Home | News | J. Christopher and Dr. Loosen announce new venture to make Oregon Pinot Noir
J. Christopher and Dr. Loosen announce new venture to make Oregon Pinot Noir
Old World is joining New World as Loosen Bros. USA announced the formation of a new partnership between German winemaker Ernst Loosen of Dr. Loosen and Oregon-based Jay Somers of J. Christopher Wines.
The new venture, Loosen Christopher Wines LLC, will produce wines under the already-established “J. Christopher” brand. The venture has purchased a 40-acre property for a new vineyard and J. Christopher Winery on Hillside Drive in Newberg, Oregon. Planting of the first block of Pinot Noir will begin this spring. Barrel cellar construction is planned to occur before the 2010 harvest.
As winemaker, Jay Somers will be in charge of all winery operations. Ernst Loosen sees his role as more of an investor providing Somers with a dedicated facility and an estate vineyard, enabling Somers to grow the J. Christopher brand to meet demand in both domestic and international markets.
Loosen and Somers met some years ago and quickly realized that they share a similar taste and passion for Pinot. Their friendship was cemented in 2004 when Somers traveled to Germany to help the short-handed harvest crew at Dr. Loosen. Since then, Loosen and Somers found it only natural to work together to produce interesting Pinot Noirs that combine Old World and New World ideas.
“I’m very excited about this collaboration because Jay’s wines are the most Burgundian, Old World style I’ve seen anyone make in the United States,” says Ernst Loosen. “Jay doesn’t try to replicate Germany or Burgundy in the New World, but rather to bring an Old World sensibility to the creation of the wine, contributing to great structure andexpression of terroir. This collaboration will allow the growth that is needed to enable these elegant wines to be enjoyed around the world.”
“This is a great opportunity for us at J. Christopher to move forward to the next level and there’s no one better in the world to take on as a partner than Ernie Loosen,” says Jay Somers. “Not only is Ernie one of my favorite people in the world, he has a keen palate, is an excellent winemaker and is immensely talented at presenting wines to the market. This partnership will be much bigger than if each of us tried to make Pinot Noir on our own. We’re super excited about the new vineyard and winery, which will give us a world class space and access to fruit we wouldn’t otherwise have, enabling us to do even better wines in the future.”
Wines produced under the J. Christopher brand will include the following, as well as limited bottlings of single vineyard wines:
J. Christopher Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
J. Christopher Dundee Hills Pinot Noir. coming soon
J. Christopher Willamette Valley Sauvignon Blanc. coming soon
Appassionata is a finely selected, limited-production Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. To assemble the wine, Ernst and Jay taste through all of the barrels in the J. Christopher cellars and select a distinctive combination of clones, terroirs and cooperages to produce an elegant Pinot Noir with powerful Oregon fruit and fine Old World structure. Under the new Loosen Christopher Wines venture, Appassionata will continue to be a top of the line special bottling, eventually coming primarily from estate-grown grapes after the vines on the new vineyard are established. Retail price is $75. The 2006 vintage will be released for the first time this March.