Maison Louis Jadot’s first venture outside of France is once again expanding in the Willamette Valley, making a purchase that will give it vineyard holdings in three distinct AVAs in Oregon.
The purchase completes Résonance’s goal of holding vineyards in three specific AVAs they said are optimal for making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
“When we first arrived in Willamette Valley, we knew it was perfect for growing our favorite grapes – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” says Thibault Gagey, Director of Operations for Résonance. “There are many good places in the Valley to make wine, and to us, there are three very special places: Yamhill-Carlton, Dundee Hills, and Eola-Amity Hills. So after we purchased land in the first two, it was a natural progression to find something here in Eola-Amity Hills. Our strategy is to continue with Pinot Noir while also growing our Chardonnay production at a high quality level and Koosah Farm is ideal for both.”
Koosah’s commercial crops include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, nine varieties of cider apples, and black mulberries. The farm supplies wine grapes to 11 winery partners and cider apples to one cidery.
Koosah Vineyard is a southeast-facing, steeply sloped, and profoundly rocky hilltop site reaching the highest elevation in the AVA (ranging from 700-1,100 feet). The vineyard was developed in two stages by the Chambers family, with 28 acres planted in 2016 and an additional 16 acres in 2020.
The 44 total acres that are currently under vine are split between Chardonnay (26 acres) and Pinot Noir (18 acres), with an additional five acres still available for further planting.
The purchase is not the first transaction between Chamberses and the Gageys, who bought what is now Résonance’s Yamhill-Carlton vineyard in 2013.
“We’ve kept a strong friendship with the Chambers family and trust their judgment, so we asked them to keep an eye out for a good location,” Gagey said. “Initially, it wasn’t important whether the site was under vine or not; it merely had to be the right place – sense of place is so important to us. When they told us their site was for sale, it was an easy decision. I’d visited Koosah after the first planting and had the same great feeling that touched my soul when I first stood on Résonance Vineyard – never thinking we’d wind up owning this farm.
“We know that Carla and Kevin are people who have done things the right way, evident from the success of Résonance Vineyard, a success they are a part of. We are very lucky to be in this situation, working again with friends that we know and trust. It is a great story.”
The newly acquired vineyard was planted from scratch — using organic, biodynamic, and regenerative farming practices — and the Chambers family have maintained the vineyard themselves. The farm’s first full crop was harvested in Fall 2021.
“I’ve been part of developing hundreds of sites for others,” Kevin Chambers said. “But this is only the second for us. It’s kind of like a child, in that we birthed it, raised it, and now it’s ready to graduate. We are thrilled to watch its sustained development under the stewardship of Résonance.”
“It’s bittersweet, of course, to let go and move on,” Carla Chambers added, “but also exciting to see what will come from this place moving forward — we’ll be able to drink the wines in the future and taste what we started. To us, this isn’t an ending, but a transition.”