Explore Oregon Wines: Wineries | Varietals | AVAs | Cellar 503 Selections

Grochau Cellars 2017 Gamay Noir

Loire Valley inspiration...

For John Grochau, making great wine is all about getting out of the way. As he says, “it’s simple really – don’t screw it up. Resist the urge to do too much.”

By that, Grochau means that he avoids the manhandling that some winemakers do – special enzymes, oak bombs, fussing around with technology.

And as a result, Grochau Cellars has become known for wines that are delicate, subtle, and a pure expression of the grapes and the terroir. Or as one wine writer put it, “he’s a purist winemaker interested in finesse, nuance, and what can admiringly be called a certain tenderness.” So, how did we get here?

In his restless 20s, John spent years racing bicycles with a French cycling team. Up and down the hills of the Loire Valley, John soon discovered a love for the local wines. Even now, the Loire Valley serves as his inspiration in winemaking, with fresh, crisp flavors and fruitiness.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Grochau Cellars, Amity, Oregon
2017 Gamay Noir

John Grochau’s heart is still in the Loire Valley, where the hills are covered with vines of Gamay Noir and Melon de Bourgogne. These grapes complement the traditional varietals and add a little spice to the usual suspects in the Willamette Valley.

Gamay is the primary grape found in France’s Beaujolais wine which traditionally comes out at this time of year. Gamay has the earthiness and funkiness which we love in Pinot Noir but with higher levels of fruitiness and acid that pairs well with a wide variety of foods and seasons.

The star at Grochau Cellars, Miss Olive is an 8-year-old Border Collie / Poodle mix who can be found entertaining guests and chasing her favorite tennis ball in the vineyard.

A Cellar 503 selection in March 2020, Winery Dogs Eola-Amity Hills | Gamay Noir