J. Christopher

Founded in 1996 by Oregon native Jay Christopher Somers, J. Christopher specializes in Pinot Noir made in the classic style of Burgundy and Sauvignon Blanc modeled after the great wines of Sancerre.  Traditional Old World and biodynamic vineyard management principles are followed: don’t force the vineyard, don’t over-irrigate, don’t use chemicals, and do all the hand labor right.  J. Christopher winery and the Estate vineyard are located in the picturesque Chehalem Mountains at the Northern end of the Willamette Valley: a region beautifully suited to this natural winegrowing philosophy.  In 2010 Jay Somers formed a partnership with famed German winemaker Ernst Loosen - a fellow self-described “Pinot freak” - who shared Jay’s extraordinary passion for Pinot Noir and commitment to crafting small lot, terrior-driven wines.  J. Christopher wines do not try to replicate Burgundy or Sancerre in the New World, but rather to bring an Old World sensibility to the creation of New World wine — a sensibility that favors great structure and expression of place. 








Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton

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Wines from this Winery

J. Christopher Sauvignon Blanc Willamette Valley

Located in Oregon’s Northern Willamette Valley, J. Christopher Wines is a small winery that specializes in Pinot Noir made in the traditional style of Burgundy, and in Sauvignon Blanc modeled after the great wines of Sancerre. A small amount of Chardonnay is also produced with fruit sourced from long-standing grower relationships. The winery is owned by Ernst Loosen, of the Dr. Loosen estate in Germany. The philosophy here is to produce wines in an Old World style that emphasizes focus, length and balance. Sauvignon Blanc is the second largest variety produced at J. Christopher. Although it is not widely planted in Oregon’s Northern Willamette Valley, Sauvignon Blanc is ideal for this climate and makes fantastic wine here. Made in the clean, fresh style of France’s Loire Valley, this wine is cool-fermented and matured for four months in stainless steel and does not go through malolactic fermentation. The result is a classic, highly aromatic Sauvignon Blanc with excellent acidity. [90] Wine Enthusiast “The winery makes a pair of Sauv Blancs, this one done in an herbal, Loire Valley style, crisply defined with a green edge and gooseberry fruit. There’s good concentration and penetration,  

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J. Christopher Pinot Noir Basalt

The Basalte bottling is sourced from our own Appassionata estate vineyard, the Medici Vineyard, which we farm, and our neighbors at Lia’s Vineyard. The Chehalem Mountains are geologically complex and diverse, formed over millenia by lava flows, wind-blown silt (loess), and uplifted sedimentary seabeds. Our vineyards have the extremely rocky volcanic basalt soils that lend themselves to full-bodied, firmly structured wines.

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J. Christopher Pinot Noir Volcanique

The new Volcaniquebottling is sourced from our favorite volcanic soil vineyards in the Dundee Hills AVA. Home to the first Pinot Noir vines ever planted in Oregon, the Dundee Hills are iconic and established the Willamette Valley as a serious wine region. The deep, well-drained, volcanic Jory clay soil gives us beautifully savory wines with purity and a finely focused structure.

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J. Christopher Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Cuvee

This cuvée is a blend of selected barrels from several excellent vineyard sites in the red Jory clay of the Dundee Hills AVA. It shows the depth and power that are typical of this area, with classic savory and sanguine notes and a seamless acid sructure. The 2013 vintage includes barrels from Bella Vida, La Colina, Meyer, and Charlie’s vineyards.

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J. Christopher Pinot Noir Lumiére Eola-Amity Hills Cuvee

The Eola-Amity Hills AVA lies about 15 miles southwest of the winery, where the Van Duzer Corridor has a significant influence on the vineyard climate. It is a notch through the Coast Range that allows cool ocean winds to flow in from the west, dropping temperatures dramatically during late summer afternoons, which helps to retain firm acidity in the fruit.

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J. Christopher Pinot Noir Nuages Chehalem Mountains Cuvee

Named in tribute to Django Rheinhart’s “Nuages,” one of winemaker Jay’s favorite gypsy jazz tunes, the Nuages Pinot Noir is selected from the winery’s neighboring vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The name “Nuages,” which is French for “clouds,” also pays homage to the moderating influence of Oregon’s autumn cloud cover, which slows ripening to allow for the long hang time that creates fully developed flavors.

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J. Christopher Sauvignon Blanc Über Sauvignon

Über-Sauvignon is a single vineyard wine from the Croft Vineyard, aged in Acacia wood for 8 months. Mineral-driven aromas with bracing acidity and refined texture, this is one of the most interesting wines Jay has ever made.

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