The IPNC is proud to present the first episode in our series of online conversations with winemakers from around the world.
New York Times Wine Critic, Eric Asimov will launch the series with
The Oregon & Burgundy Connection on July 18, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. PDT, 2:00 p.m. EDT, and 8:00 p.m. CEST.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to hear from Oregonian and Burgundian wine luminaries, right from their living rooms!
Donate $20 to Attend
To commemorate the broadcast,
we have selected a four-pack of wines from the producers:
2017 Domaine de Montille, Beaune 1er Cru les Sizies Pinot Noir
2017 Dominique Lafon, Beaune 1er Cru Vignes Franches Pinot Noir
2018 Walter Scott, Sojeau Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
2018 Bergström, Bergström Vineyard, Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
Four-packs are available for purchase from Valley Wine Merchants.
Please note orders will be held due to warm weather until fall and buyers will be notified before shipment.
Episode 1 – The Oregon & Burgundian Bond
Especially in the early days of Oregon’s winemaking history, the interconnection between winemakers in Oregon and in Burgundy was strong. Oregon winemakers looking to train and to make a name for themselves studied and interned in Burgundy. A few forward-thinking Burgundians saw Oregon as a wild-west of winemaking: land was inexpensive, and nothing like the rules and regulations in Burgundy existed in Oregon. Some Burgundians purchased property in Oregon and put down roots. As a notoriously difficult to make wine, Pinot noir winemakers tend to share ideas and resources in order to be able to create the best wines possible. Learn about the transfer of ideas, hard-work, and knowledge that bounced back and forth across the pond in the early days, and still takes place today. 45 minutes
Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic of The New York Times, a position he assumed in June 2004 after having covered wine with The Times’s tasting panel and in his Tastings column for the Dining section. Asimov created the $25 and Under restaurant reviews in 1992 and wrote them through 2004. He is a co-author of “The New York Times Guide to Restaurants 2004,” the fifth edition of the guide. He has also reviewed takeout food for The Times in his To Go column and has offered commentary on food and wine on WQXR since 1999. His freelance work previously appeared in Food and Wine, Details and Martha Stewart Living. His first book, “$25 and Under: A Guide to the Best Inexpensive Restaurants in New York,” was published annually by HarperCollins from 1995 to 1998. At The Times, he was editor of the Living section from 1991 to 1994 and editor of Styles of The Times from 1994 to 1995. Asimov is a graduate of Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Conn., and did graduate work in American studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Eric lives with his family in Manhattan.
Matt Berson, the owner and winemaker of Love & Squalor, began his adventure in winemaking in 2003 when he was rescued from his illustrious restaurant career by a band of marauding Oregon winemakers. He was first taught the rudiments and joys of winemaking by Patty Green of Patricia Green Cellars. Then, he scurried in the cellars of Jimi Brooks (Brooks), Jay Somers (J. Christopher), Larry McKenna (Escarpment, NZ), and Erni Loosen (Dr. Loosen). The Love & Squalor label was launched in 2006 while he was the assistant winemaker for Ransom Wines. It focuses on Pinot noirs and Rieslings sourced from the vineyards of the Northern Willamette Valley. The wines are un-manipulated and honest. Berson lives in Portland in an old house filled with curly girls, including his wife and partner in crime Angie Reat, with whom he operates the Portland Wine Company urban winery and tasting room.
Bergström Wines is a family owned and operated artisan producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It was started in 1999 by Dr. John and Karen Bergström, with the help of their son Josh Bergström and his wife Caroline Bergström. Josh Bergström has been crafting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Oregon’s Willamette Valley for 23 years. He is owner, general manager and winemaker at his family’s eponymous winery Bergström Wines in Newberg, Oregon. Josh and his team farm 70 acres of Biodynamic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 5 different sub AVA of the Northern Willamette Valley. A native Oregonian, Josh studied business at the University of Oregon before going on to receive a postgraduate degree in Viticulture and Enology in Beaune, France. Beaune is where Josh and Caroline met. Caroline grew up in Burgundy and studied wine and spirits marketing at the famed Lycée Viticole. Together they roamed the Burgundian hillside villages, depleting communal stores of wine, bread, jambon persillé, and almost made escargots an endangered species. They returned to Oregon in the summer of 1999 to craft their family’s first vintage.
Dominique Lafon was born in Burgundy in August 1958. He studied Viticulture & oenology in Beaune, graduating in 1980 followed by internships in California and Alsace (Domaine Weinbach). From 1982 to 1986 Dominique was employed by Le Serbet (Becky Wasserman) for both buying and sales, while working harvest and following the wines at the family Domaine des Comte Lafon. He returned to the domaine full time in August 1986, taking back the sharecropping arrangements over the next few years. The Domaine was founded by Dominique’s great grandfather, Comte Jules Lafon, in the early 1900s. It owns outstanding white wine (Chardonnay) vineyards in Meursault and Le Montrachet, and red wine vineyards (Pinot Noir) in Volnay and Monthelie. The average total production for 16 hectares (40 acres) is 7,000 cases, of which one third are red. The domaine moved to organic and biodynamic farming by 1998, having started trials in 1995. Dominique purchased for the family a domaine in the Maconnais, Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon, in 1999 – starting with 7ha with additional purchases in 2003, 2009 and between 2014 and 2016 to reach 26 ha today. Dominique started his own company “Dominique Lafon” in 2007, working 4 hectares in the Cote de Beaune. He also consults in Oregon, firstly with 7 Springs vineyard (2007-14) and subsequently with Larry Stone for the Lingua Franca label. Dominique has two children, Léa (born 1989) and Guillaume (1991) with his former wife, Anne Roumier.
Etienne de Montille
Domaine de Montille (60 acres) and Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet (30 acres) craft their wines from bio-dynamic certified vineyards located mainly in Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Volnay, Pommard, Beaune, Corton and Vosne-Romanee. The family estate was established around 1730. In 1990 Etienne de Montille took over from his father Hubert. Since 2000 he has acquired significant pieces of prime land, including the Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet. He now owns and manages the estates with his team, including Brian Sieve, a winemaker from the United States. The style of the red wines has progressively evolved from Hubert’s style with the consistent use of a large quantity of stems during a long fermentation with moderate foulage and pigeage at natural temperatures to develop complexity in the wine. The white wines are pure, fresh, and focused with mineral aromas accompanied by a palate with tension and a slight saline character. To express the distinctions of the Burgundian terroirs, they moderately apply new oak ranging from 0% to maximum 50%. The wines’ firm structure, based on their acidity, tannins, and moderate alcohol, allows for great aging potential.
Partners Ken Pahlow and Erica Landon started Walter Scott in 2008 after years of living, studying and working within the Oregon wine industry. Ken had spent 18 years working for some of Oregon’s top winemakers, learning both production and marketing, while Erica is both an Advanced Sommelier and wine educator, focusing much of her passion on the Willamette Valley. In 2012, Sue and Andy Steinman joined the winery, helping the business realize goals and grow production. The winery specializing in Pinot noir and Chardonnay from exceptional vineyards sourced primarily from the Eola-Amity Hills appellation of the Willamette Valley. Their focus is to produce wines of elegance and purity, while conveying transparency of site and character of vintage.