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

Statera Cellars 2020 Petillant-Naturel Chardonnay

When Chardonnay steals the show

For Meredith Bell, two years in the Peace Corps in an Islamic republic where wine is illegal convinced her that wine would be her future. So it wasn’t long before the biochemistry graduate, and Oregon native, found her way back to Oregon to an Umpqua Valley winery to make wine.

Soon she was in Burgundy, ostensibly to learn about Pinot Noir. “But I was like holy shit, the Chardonnay stole the show for me every time,” Bell says. “I kept making trips up to Chablis, so while I thought I was supposed to there for the red wine, it turns out I wasn’t.”

And so, in 2015, she partnered with Luke Mathews and launched a Kickstarter campaign to create Oregon’s first-ever Chardonnay-only winery. Backed by a motley band of friends from Burning Man, Statera Cellars was born.

Latin for “balance”, Statera’s focus is on producing pure expressions of Chardonnay, no chemicals or additives, and a very light touch with neutral oak.

They’ve helped accelerate a Chardonnay renaissance in Oregon, as local winemakers establish a style distinct from the oaky, buttery Californians.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Statera Cellars, Carlton, Oregon
2020 Petillant-Naturel Chardonnay

Unfined, unfiltered, no additions. This is about as natural as you can get. Statera’s motto – “Chardonnay, not chemicals” – certainly comes through in this wine.

They also use exclusively neutral oak barrels so banish that thought of the over-oaked Chardonnay. This is a lovely, well-balanced wine with a creaminess that comes from sitting on the lees and a natural acidity from the vineyard. It’s that balance that is the prime objective at Statera.

As with all “Pet Nat” wines, this wine was bottled just before primary fermentation was complete in order to capture the CO2 from the end of fermentation in the bottle — creating bubbles! This is an undisgorged sparkling wine which means you’ll see the lees in the bottom of the bottle and the wine will be slightly cloudy . This is a great food wine — anything from fish and chips to a chopped salad or, even better, fish tacos!

A Cellar 503 selection in May 2021, Women in Wine Willamette Valley | Chardonnay