Located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, within the Van Duzer Corridor AVA, Johan Vineyards is an 85-acre certified-Biodynamic Estate winery. Our goal is to create a self-sustained holistic farm system with the energy to produce an honest expression of itself, to share with others. The team consists of an eclectic group of winegrowers, led by head winemaker Morgan Beck. Each individual brings equal passion from distinctly different contexts; through constant collaboration and conversation we find synergy, resonance, and a greater truth. Since establishment of Johan Vineyards in 2005, we have expanded our acreage to include a wide array of varieties, while striving to maximize clonal diversity among more established varieties such as Pinot Noir. We are equally excited about the potential of the more esoteric plantings on our site as we are about making more forward-thinking, age-worthy expressions of Chardonnay.
We maintain a long-term view both in the vineyard and the cellar, nurturing a healthy, diverse microbiological system in our soil and producing wines that are alive and capable of evolving over many years. One aspect of this future-oriented approach is our openness to experimentation. While many New World winemakers take inspiration from their Old World counterparts, we cherish the ability to continually discover our unique place in the context of world wine. As we grow and mature with our farm, we are constantly reevaluating our process in order to best shepherd and represent our farm individuality.
The Biodynamic Approach and The Farm Individuality
The fundamental principles of Biodynamic Farming emerged from a series of lectures and conversations led by Rudolf Steiner, held in June 1924. In response to his community’s concern for a change in nutrition during the rise of industrial agriculture, Steiner outlined a unified approach to agriculture that relates the ecology of the earth-organism to that of the entire cosmos. Much like Steiner, we see our vineyard as an individual organism that will eventually showcase its own identity through the fruit it develops. Biodynamic® farming combines the knowledge of premium viticultural practices with an understanding on how to treat the vineyard and its surrounding areas in order to achieve desired long-term farming results. We use the preparations 500-508 as prescribed by Steiner, which are a range of homeopathic applications to promote healthy and holistic growth. In addition, we maintain over 30 acres as a biodiversity preserve, which includes virgin oak savannah and biologically active riparian zones.
The Van Duzer Corridor
Johan Vineyards is one of six bonded wineries within the newly established Van Duzer Corridor AVA. The unique growing conditions within our viticultural area yield winegrapes with a compelling expression of Oregon’s sense of place. Our calcareous sedimentary soils with non-native erratic granite contrast our easterly neighbors’ iron-rich volcanic soils; we see a greater pH buffering capacity in our soils conducive to a healthy and diverse soil microbiome. The resulting wines from our site have exotic and complex aromatics with balancing acidic structure and tension. In addition to the soil characteristics, our site is affected by the unapologetic and persistent coastal winds. Daily, the sun heats the valley floor and causes a “heat-sink” effect. This differential draws maritime air through the coast range, directly across our site. Annually, we see 30-40% greater daily wind speeds compared to the McMinnville AVA.