When we think of well-made Chardonnay our minds might take us to the steely wines of Chablis, creamy yet mineral rich wines of Montrachet, or juicy, lively wines of Napa and Sonoma. Including Oregon in this discussion may not have happened a handful of years ago, as the Chardonnay grown in Willamette Valley until recent years has been rather flabby, flat and uninteresting.
Thankfully, with the help of a handful of winemakers like David Adelsheim, Bill Stoller and Josh Bergstrom, this has changed. After identifying the problem, that Chardonnay vines brought in to the state early on were essentially the wrong clone, many coming from warm California climates with the much loved Wente clone or one of its hybrids, they were able to make some changes. Through testing and discovery, winemakers like David Adelsheim brought in Dijon clones from Burgundy, the cool-weather home of the variety, that adapted better to the climactic and soil conditions of Willamette Valley with cool climates, late ripening conditions, and volcanic soils.
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