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.
What I do as a Chardonnay winemaker starts in each vineyard, each harvest. I pay attention to the uniqueness, even within sites, which might be captured and translated into wine. I aim at crafting 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 extract both adequate juice & appropriate phenolics. Unsulfured juice is settled to allow for a careful selection of lees, before being transferred to 228L and 350L French oak barrels & lightly sulfured if necessary. Indigenous, ambient yeasts begin fermentation in a slightly warm cellar without non-essential additions and minimal effective SO2. Lees are stirred once or twice towards the end of primary fermentation. After one year of aging in a cold cellar in barrel, the wines are 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.