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Layne Vineyard

Layne Vineyard 2020 Chardonnay

A Tribute to Roger

The Layne Vineyard in Applegate Valley was established when only crazy people did a crazy thing like plant a vineyard down there. But in 1975, that's what Roger Layne was doing. One of the region's original sites, the Layne Vineyard is the prized source for the uniquely terroir expressive wine grapes that all winemakers covet. A rugged, high-elevation site 1,600 feet up on Kubli Bench, the Chardonnay from this site is spectacular.

Roger and Barrie Layne moved to the Applegate from California in the early 1970’s. Barrie hailed from Napa, but her family owned a dairy there, not grapevines. On their first visit to the Applegate, they met Dick Troon, who, in 1972, had already planted 10 acres of grapevines. They decided to follow suit, planting some of their own the following year, including Southern Oregon’s first Merlot vines.

Layne Vineyard

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Layne Vineyard, Grants Pass, Oregon
2020 Chardonnay

I’ll never forget the first time I saw the estate, following the Caris Creek draw back into the hills above the Valley. Like many sites in the Applegate, you would never know that the vineyard existed, and yet, there it was, 35 acres of old vines, some of the very first planted in Southern Oregon.

A walk through the rows reveals signs of the apex predators (mountain lion and black bear) that frequent the vineyard, and it becomes apparent just what kind of place this is. Many of the vines are on original Vinifera rootstock from the 1975 planting, having long since established themselves deep into the granitic bedrock. The well-draining alluvial topsoils really make their mark on the fruit, while careful crop management, good ventilation, and dramatic daily temperature swings all help the fruit reach full ripeness.

Roger Layne whom we lost late last year, was a pioneering wine grape grower in the Applegate Valley and one of the nicest guys you had ever met. The Layne Vineyard Chardonnay honors the 50-year-old vineyard from which it hails. The lime sorbet and creamy lemon zest aromas and bright citrus flavors are a special delight in the hot summer months. Above you see him with his son Cameron who plans to steward this very special vineyard for years to come.

A Cellar 503 selection in July 2023, Tributes & Training Wheels Applegate Valley | Chardonnay