Born in North Carolina, my family moved from Massachusetts to the Willamette Valley when I was 9 years old. Nearly 20 years later, in the midst of two years of study with the International Sommelier Guild, I moved from Eugene to Portland and landed my first harvest internship in 2009, working for Patrick Taylor, at Cana's Feast. That winter, I worked tasting rooms, began trading, and methodically tasting, wines. After the 2010 harvest working for Thibaud Mandet at WillaKenzie Estate, I spent the winter working with the vineyard crew there. In early 2011, I flew south for harvest at Akarua, in Central Otago, NZ before arriving in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California that summer. I worked for Jeff Brinkman at Rhys Vineyards, where, inbetween corks being pulled on many profound wines, my understanding of vinification and viticulture improved exponentially. I worked harder, and asked better questions, the most important of which basically revealed a doorway to Burgundy. I completed my third harvest of 2011 back in the Willamette Valley, as Thibaud Mandet asked me to come help at the last minute at WillameKenzie Estate. In the fall of 2012, over three and a half months vinifying wines at Domaine de Montille in Meursault, I took copious notes, asked important questions and paid close attention to details. I was welcomed back to de Montille in 2013, and spent the harvest more and more concentrated on Chardonnay. Sufficiently motivated and with a clear purpose, I returned home with a vision of crafting thoughtful Willamette Valley Chardonnay.
In 2014, I began sourcing fruit from one farmer. In 2016, I worked with three farmers. By 2017/2018, I source fruit from at least six unique sites, each of which is farmed thoughtfully with a story to tell. Over the next few vintages I aim to explore what is possible with a singular focus, and to hone in on the sites I will vinify for the rest of my life.
Morgen Long Willamette Valley Chardonnays are crafted with my own hands at Lingua Franca, amongst a great community of winemakers and farmers. I'm grateful to share my vision of Willamette Valley Chardonnay with you.
-Seth Morgen Long