“FRENCH SOUL, OREGON SOIL” *

From wine to glass: a succession of rigorous decisions at every step, four Drouhin generations have learned how to carefully observe the  land, the vine, the grape, humbly drawing lessons from every detail.  The methods used bring together experience and innovation.  The Burgundian terroir expresses itself through the vine: our role is to translate and reveal its most subtle messages.  Every effort is made to respect this terroir in all its diversity.  (from the Joseph Drouhin  CHARTER OF EXCELLENCE)

This tradition begins in 1880 in Beaune, France when a 22 year old man founded his own winery…Joseph Drouhin.  Each succeeding generation continued to expand the holdings of quality vineyards.  The history of the Drouhin family is rich and fascinating.  Besides representing some of the finest wines produced anywhere in the world, the name is synonymous with leadership and at times exceptional courage during two world wars.

Joesph Drouhin was succeeded by his son, Maurice Drouhin, who dedicated his life to making fine wine.  In 1957, Robert Drouhin became the third generation to run the business. He first "discovered” Oregon on a 1961 visit, and then again during the 1979 and '80 blind tastings in Paris and Burgundy (the latter of which Robert organized) that put Oregon wines on the world map. Robert recognized that it was Oregon, more so than California, whose soils and climate could unlock the complexities and potential of Pinot Noir in the United States.

In 1957, Robert Drouhin gave the French domaine its present dimension. Acquiring more vineyards.  He was one of the first in Burgundy to introduce “culture reisonnee” (doing away with pesticides and other chemicals and to build a laboratory of enology run by Laurence Jobard, the very first woman enologist in Burgundy.
 
With its 182 acres the Joseph Drouhin Domaine is one of the largest estates in the region.  It owns vineyards in all of Burgundy: Chablis, Cote de Nuits, and Cote de Beaune.  It is comprised of a majority of premier and Grand Crus, planted with the two Burgundian grape varietals, PINOT NOIR and chardonnay.

"Skills get more refined, methods evolve, but what's important is what is transmitted from generation to generation: The search for excellence, the intellectual curiosity, the sense of values, passion, the respect for terroir.” -- Robert J. Drouhin

 In 1987, Robert Drouhin was invited to participate in the first International Pinot Noir Celebration, and on that trip, he decided to purchase land in the Dundee Hills. Where there had only been Christmas trees and wheat The Drouhin's began planting their first vineyards in Oregon.  At the same time, Robert nominated Véronique to be the newly christened DDO winemaker, and her brother Philippe Drouhin took responsibility for viticulture.  In 1988, DDO produced its first vintage, from purchased grapes, and in 1989 built the landmark, four-story gravity flow winery.

In 1986, Robert's daughter Véronique came to Oregon after achieving a masters diploma in enology.  She worked that harvest with three families, the Letts (Eyrie Vineyard), the Casteels (Bethel Heights: available in our SHOP) and the Adelsheims (Adelsheim Vineyards).   That first impression was profound, and helped to form the bond between the Drouhins and some of the founding families of Oregon wine.
   
Their estate winery in the Dundee Hills creates elegant, fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines forged from the family's tradition of fine winemaking in France. For more than 25 years, the Drouhin Family has brought a wealth of hard-earned experience to their vineyards in the Willamette Valley, just southwest of Portland, Oregon.

In the December 2013 issue of Wine Spectator,  Matt Kramer named Domaine Drouhin’s  Dundee Hills Laurene as one four of the best wines of the year.  “The 2010 vintage…produced some of Oregon’s best, most nuanced Pinot Noirs yet achieved. From the inaugural vintages in 1992, Domaine Drouhin’s Laurene….eighteen years demonstrates what might be called the depth and dimension of true maturity.  While there cannot be a “single best” Pinot Noir in a vintage this good.  I’ll say this much: the 2010 Laurene is the contender for the prize.”

In the same year (2013),  Robert Drouhin was named Wine Spectator’s Distinguished Service Award.  The Distinguished Service Award is presented by Wine Spectator to those who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the wine industry.  “All have displayed a passion for excellence, an appetite for innovation and a commitment to sharing the fruits of their success with those less fortunate. Through there lives and their achievements, these distinguished winners have helped ensure that wine remains a source of pleasure and inspiration and maintains its role as an integral part of modern life.”

In 2012 Oregon Pinot Noirs were the cover story for the December issue of Wine Spectator featuring Domaine Drouhin and Veronique Drouhin-Boss.

 Tradition and passion for excellence run deep, having taken hold in Burgundy's best vineyards more than a century ago. Through the years, there has been a very clear link, a continuum that inhabits Maison Joseph Drouhin in France and now Domaine Drouhin in Oregon.

It is with great pleasure and honour that PINOTSONLY.COM can offer some of these fine wines from both Oregon and France for your enjoyment.

Rob

*From Domaine Drouhin Oregon website.

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