Morgen Long Willamette Valley Chardonnay is created with an inquisitive and integral approach, where small details are of great importance. After working as closely as I can to the vine with farmers, my goal is simply balancing the craft of winemaking with a discovery of the authentic expression of grape, time & place. I aim to craft wines which reach beautiful heights, and are built with deep, honest moorings. From picking, to pressing, to managing ferments, each moment, my work is to be present to what is already brilliant, energetic & redolent, where the density of soil, wood, earth & fruit is alchemically fused with the weightlessness of air, leaf, light, mineral, aether.
I’m grateful that nearly every moment & each aspect of this craft is beguiling, consuming, and wonderful.
Hand picked fruit is pressed to highlight the pedigree of the vineyard and the character of the vintage: lesser sites yield fruit which is wholecluster pressed, while other sites yield fruit which is crushed into the press, in order to extract more phenolics. Special sites yield fruit which is food tread, crushed and pressed. Typically, unsulfured juice is allowed to settle for 12-24 hours in stainless steel before being sulfured and transferred to 228L and 350L French oak barrels. Indigenous, ambient yeasts begin fermentation in a slightly warm cellar without non-essential additions. Lees are stirred as needed, typically once or twice towards the end of primary fermentation, while CO2 is still present. Uninoculated malolactic always occurs. Once primary and malolactic are complete the wines receive a firm dosage of sulfur and age in a cold cellar. After one year in barrel, the wines are typically racked with inert gas & blended in stainless steel tanks for a second winter on lees. After seventeen months, the wines are gently decanted off of lees & prepared for bottling in the second spring after harvest, typically after 18 months.
Chardonnay's fluidity shows nuance. It thrives in many climates & soils. It's highly responsive in the cellar, a clear reflection of how it's made. To many, it's identity may be uncertain. Starting with this humble grape, my singular focus is to craft authentic age-worthy wines of time & place.
Each year's weather conditions are unique; time shaping the character of Willamette Valley Chardonnay. Seasonal conditions dance & vineyard microclimates shift, dynamic imprints within the fruit's DNA. Tuning in to subtleties, nuances and details is my task; paying attention & being present with time.
The soil, microclimate, topography, elevation, aspect & farming philosophy all have an enormous impact on the character of grapes. And there is way more than meets the eye. The 'soul of place' is what I seek to discover, over time, producing Willamette Valley Chardonnay which is authentic to it's place.