Domaine Drouhin Provides French Soul in Oregon Soil The Drouhin family has a rich history of winemaking, which they've expanded from Burgundy to Oregon. BY TOURING & TASTING
Photo courtesy of Domaine Drouhin Oregon
A gorgeous view from the patio shows off the vineyard and the amazing Oregon countryside.
“ The soil composition is 100 percent volcanic—a mix of Jory, Ritner, and Nekia series soils.”
The Domaine Drouhin Oregon story began in Burgundy in 1880, with the founding of Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune. Joseph’s son, Maurice Drouhin, expanded the Drouhin estate including the purchase of the family’s signature vineyards in the Clos des Mouches. Maurice’s son, Robert Drouhin, continued the family practice of buying exceptional vineyards, and in 1987, purchased land in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. At the time of this extraordinary leap, there were only 65 wineries in the state, but Robert was inspired by the potential of the region, and by the close community of winemakers.
Having recently achieved her Master’s degree in oenology, Robert’s daughter, Véronique Drouhin, was appointed winemaker, and her brother Phillippe was named as viticulturalist. The first vintage was 1988, and to this day, both continue in these key roles.
Domaine Drouhin Oregon is known for its consistently excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Dundee Hills estate, which show a clear link to the family roots in Burgundy. Or, as the family proudly says, “French soul, Oregon soil.”
Now, the discovery of another extraordinary Willamette Valley vineyard has inspired the Drouhins to begin their next Oregon chapter. After a long, careful search for something truly stellar, the family purchased Roserock Vineyard at the southern tip of the Eola-Amity Hills in 2013. The Roserock Vineyard lies on gentle sloping hills facing south and east, ranging in elevation from 550 to 750 feet. The soil composition is 100 percent volcanic—a mix of Jory, Ritner, and Nekia series soils. Another important natural factor is the Van Duzer Corridor, a coastal mountain channel that allows for a significant influx of maritime breezes. In fact, the Eola Hills are slightly cooler than the Dundee Hills, which further differentiates the unique identities of the Domaine Drouhin Oregon and Drouhin Oregon Roserock wines. As with Domaine Drouhin Oregon, the Roserock Vineyard is LIVE Certified Sustainable, meaning it is farmed using a rigorous set of practices that are monitored by a third party.
This spring, Domaine Drouhin Oregon proudly launched the inaugural Drouhin Oregon Roserock wines from the 2014 vintage. The first two wines were a Roserock Pinot Noir and a Roserock Chardonnay. This fall, a reserve level Roserock Zéphirine Pinot Noir Cuvée will see its first release as well. These wines, from the classic 2014 vintage, benefited from the long, warm growing season and relaxed harvest. The Chardonnay has aromas of pear and honeysuckle, with a round, fresh palate. The medium-bodied Roserock Pinot Noir has a floral, spicy, and intensely savory nose with notes of dark berries on the palate. Zéphirine, named for the Zéphirine Drouhin variety of heirloom rose, is a wine of particular character and exceptional balance, with the structure to age well.
The new Drouhin Oregon Roserock wines are elegant companions to the wines produced at Domaine Drouhin including the acclaimed Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Chardonnay Arthur, and Laurène Pinot Noir Cuvée. As in Burgundy, where sense of place is paramount, the Drouhins are making wines that are true to their origins in the Dundee Hills and now the Eola-Amity Hills. French soul, Oregon soil.
What to Buy '14 Arthur Chardonnay - $35
Candied lemon peel, acacia, magnolia