Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 55

Photo of chardonnay cluster by Stirling Fox

Dominique Lafon of Lingua Franca
yard, a newly established site on the ridgeline directly
above Seven Springs. Pahlow had worked with the
variety alongside Vlossak at St. Innocent and had
seen what Lafon and Meunier did with it during his
tenure at Evening Land.
"We really loved it," says Landon. "Then we started
looking for chardonnay. We said, we are going to
offer farmers more money for quality farming to get
really good fruit. That hadn't been happening here
for chardonnay. By 2013, we knew we were really into
it, so we started seeking out the best sites."
The search kept bringing them back to the central
Willamette Valley. "That's when we found out about
Craig Williams and X-Novo," says Landon.
It was 2009 when Williams planted X-Novo vineyard. At that time there was essentially no new
growth in chardonnay in the Willamette Valley. Williams planted two acres of chardonnay and one of
pinot noir. "If I had this to do over again I would
plant every vine to chardonnay," he says today. "I
think there is a huge upside to chardonnay in Oregon. And that's not to take away anything from pinot
noir." Today, the X-Novo chardonnay goes entirely to
Walter Scott Wines.
Williams is a surprising proponent for Willamette
Valley chardonnay. His career began in Napa Valley
cabernet working at Joseph Phelps. But at the end
of the 1990s, the winery asked him to help develop
a cooler-climate vineyard in Freestone, north of
the Petaluma Gap on the Sonoma Coast. "We also
planted pinot noir, but the reason we went over to
Freestone was to establish a separate domain for
the chardonnay we were making." Researching the
unique viticultural needs of the varieties, he realized
he wanted to plant a vineyard of his own. "I decided if
I was going to focus on chardonnay, I wanted to do it
in Willamette Valley. Everyone in California thought
I was crazy."
Williams decided to take advantage of the clonal
diversity in the region. "All I did was think about how
to amplify the place. I decided to put in as many good
selections as I could." In the two acres of chardon-

nay at X-Novo, he planted 15-a mix of California
heritage cuttings and the newer Dijon clones. "Really
what I'm trying to do is add diversity. Some people
might say one of the clones I planted isn't the best
selection in the world but that's okay. I think that
I have a healthier vineyard with the diversity, and
with that mixture you get a more interesting wine.
I believe having this sélection massale approach,
regardless of what you use, leads to layering in the
wine."
The idea came to him in tasting wines through
Burgundy. Many of the top vineyards are planted to
old vines that are well adapted to their site, but have
also had a bevy of single-vine replants. The combination creates an innate diversity in the vineyard.
Tasting the resulting chardonnay from X-Novo, it's a
wine that offers layered, aromatic intensity, followed
by mineral density on the palate and mouthwatering acidity.
After seeing how well X-Novo delivered, Williams
established Kindred, a slightly larger vineyard on the
next hill. Planted in 2012, Kindred has seven acres of
chardonnay, and Williams is expanding it to a total of
15. It also includes four and a half acres of pinot. The
first fruit from the site came online in 2015. Williams

"If I had this to do over again I would
plant every vine to chardonnay. I think
there is a huge upside to chardonnay
in Oregon. And that's not to take away
anything from pinot noir."
-Craig Williams, X-Novo

WINE & SPIRITS

OCTOBER 2017

55



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - October 2017

Contents
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 1
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 2
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 3
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 4
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 6
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 7
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 8
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 9
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 10
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 11
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 12
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 13
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 14
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 15
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 16
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 17
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 18
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 19
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 20
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 21
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 22
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 23
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 24
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 25
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 26
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 27
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 28
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 29
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 30
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 31
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 32
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 33
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 34
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 35
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 36
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 37
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 38
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 39
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 40
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 41
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 42
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 43
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 44
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 45
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 46
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 47
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 48
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 49
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 50
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 51
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 52
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 53
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 54
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 55
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 56
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 57
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 58
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 59
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 60
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 61
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 62
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 63
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 64
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 65
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 66
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 67
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 68
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 69
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 70
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 71
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 72
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 73
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 74
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 75
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 76
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 77
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 78
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 79
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 80
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 81
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 82
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 83
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 84
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 85
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 86
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 87
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 88
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 89
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 90
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 91
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 92
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 93
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 94
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 95
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 96
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 97
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 98
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 99
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 100
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 101
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 102
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 103
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 104
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 105
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 106
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 107
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 108
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 109
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 110
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 111
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 112
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover4
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