About J. Christopher
Ernst Loosen is known for one of the wine world’s greatest contributions to the Riesling cause. Less well known is his devotion to Pinot Noir, which he’s been growing since 1996 at his Pfalz winery Villa Wolf. In 2004 he hosted a young Oregon Pinot producer named Jay Somers for harvest in the Mosel. Their friendship led to a partnership, and in 2010 they built a winery and planted a vineyard in Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley, in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The winery specialises in Pinot Noir made using the traditional methods of Burgundy, including biodynamic practices in the vineyard. These wines are handcrafted in small batches and are sourced from some of the best vineyards in Oregon.
About Ernst Loosen
Ernst Loosen is one of the great characters of the wine world. He was born into great winemaking tradition but it wasn’t his first instinct to take it up himself. Instead he went off to study archaeology and it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that he was spurred to take the plunge into wine. His father was ready to turn the estate over to the next generation but none of Erni’s brothers or sisters was old enough or interested enough to take it on. Thankfully, Erni threw himself into it with characteristic fervour. He completed studies at Germany’s renowned winemaking school in Geisenheim and then launched into a self-directed review of the great wines of the world.
He travelled to Austria, Burgundy, Alsace, even California. He went wherever great wine was being made, seeking out the best winemakers to find out what they had in common. What he discovered was that they all share a dedication to producing intense, concentrated wines that boldly proclaim their heritage. They also have a worldly outlook that allows them to maintain respect for tradition while tempering it with reason. This gives them the freedom to acknowledge that not all traditions deserve to be doggedly observed, and allows judicious use of modern winemaking techniques when it will improve quality.