Born in North Carolina, my family relocated 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. As I worked under Patrick Taylor in 2009, at Cana's Feast, I began working tasting rooms, trading and tasting wines. In 2010, I worked for Thibaud Mandet at WillaKenzie Estate, and then spent the winter pruning and pulling 125 acres of canes. In early 2011, I flew south for harvest at Akarua, in Central Otago, NZ.I arrived in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California that summer. I worked for Jeff Brinkman at Rhys Vineyards in 2011, and my understanding of vinification and viticulture improved exponentially. Many corks were pulled from deeply profound wines during my time there. I worked harder, and asked better questions, the most important of which basically revealed a doorway to Burgundy as we got the sorting table going at 5am one morning. I completed my third harvest of 2011 back in the Willamette Valley, with Thibaud Mandet again at WillaKenzie Estate. In the fall of 2012, I was lucky enough to help vinify Pinot noir and Chardonnay at Domaine de Montille in Meursault. I was welcomed back to de Montille in 2013, and focused on Chardonnay. After my seventh harvest, I returned home with a winter vision to craft my own white wines from the Willamette Valley.
The next spring, the project took shape. That fall it took form with 3.5 barrels of 2014 Chardonnay fashioned from fruit grown with s a story to tell. In 2016, I produced 7.5 barrels from 3 sites. By 2017, I produced 36 barrels from 6 thoughtfully farmed sites. I'm grateful to share my vision of Willamette Valley Chardonnay with the world.
-Seth Morgen Long
Photos by Robert Hill Long