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Eight years ago, we began replanting the 108 clone of Chardonnay originally planted in Oregon with French 'Dijon' clones. Experimental wines had been made in Oregon from these clones in the 1980's. I believed they would produce wines with fully ripened fruit and also have the rich textures found in white Burgundies. Since 1999. all of St. Innocent's Chardonnay vines are producing fruit exclusively from the Dijon clones. I am now convinced that the results were worth the huge effort it required.
The Freedom Hill Dijon clone Chardonnays are Mersault-like: darker fruit with a stoney minerality and rich textures in the mouth. The Seven Springs Dijon clone Chardonnays have a Puligny-like charactor: sweet fruit and spice with great length. They are both a huge qualitative improvement over the old clones.
The mineral aromas remind me of granite and marble. Intermixed are aromas of pear, citrus, and melon. It fills your mouth with amazing viscosity-an almost oily texture. The fruit components are deeper, almost visceral. This is one of my most food friendly wines. I will frequently open it along with several of my Pinot noirs at dinner with visiting customers and it is always the first bottle empty. I am very aware that Chardonnay is not the wine that many serious wine people buy for enjoyment. However, if you try it, you may be amazed. This is simply a great food wine.
St. Innocent Winery was founded in May 1988 by Mark Vlossak, the current winemaker and president, and eight investors. Ten tons of grapes were crushed the first fall, producing 396 cases of still and 176 cases of sparkling wine. Production increased to our full capacity of 6800 cases in 2004. The winery is located in Salem, Oregon, at the southeast corner of the Eola Hills, in the...Read More About St. Innocent
Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is...Read More About Willamette Valley
White Wine's Queen Bee
Sauvignon, Chardonnay can grow just about anywhere. It adapts well to different
soils and different climates. While frequently paired with
its native home lies in the vineyards of Burgundy,
France. The only major white grape of the region, Chardonnay is at its best on the rolling...Read More About Chardonnay
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