Grochau Cellars 2015 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
2015 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. (You might remember the Grochau Melon we featured in June 2016.) 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. Similar to Pinot Noir, Gamay has the earthiness and funkiness which we love in Pinot but with higher levels of fruitiness and acid that pairs well with a wide variety of foods – perfect for a Thanksgiving feast.

A few other folks in the Willamette Valley and some Canadians near Toronto are making wine with Gamay Noir – but that’s pretty much it in North America.

A Cellar 503 selection in November 2017, Thanksgiving Wines Eola-Amity Hills | Gamay Noir

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