Trois TerroirsWe never meant to run away from our native Québec with our young family in tow, never meant to become wine gypsies: but, by doing so, we have been blessed to live and work in three of the most beautiful cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir viticultural regions in the world: Burgundy; Oregon and Niagara.For the Bachelder project, starting with the 2009 vintage, we have happily returned to all three of these regions to establish tiny craft wineries and are finally making our own Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines under our own name. Every friend that we have made and kept in our travels has inspired this 'three terroirs' series: Three regions; Three wines. The hands, techniques and the palates remain the same, only the terroirs change.Mary & Thomas Delaney-Bachelder
The Hills of OregonThomas has worked for both Ponzi Vineyards and Lemelson in Oregon, and it is from the latter that he rents cellar space to make Bachelder. Lemelson Vineyards has a state-of-the-art gravity facility, and 60 hectares of organic vineyards that are amongst the most meticulously-kept vineyards in the entire Willamette Valley.Working with fruit from both the Sandstone and Volcanic (Basaltic) strata that predominate in Oregon, Bachelder is able to capture the fruit and coax out the stunning minerality of Oregon Chardonnay in all of its lacey purity.BACHELDER OREGON 2009:"Challenges all the assumptions you may have about white wine from the West Coast – the combination of fruit sourced from both sandstone and volcanic soils has resulted in a densely textured wine that balances its acrobatics on a tightrope of an intense finish: dense fruit and minerals overlaid with an almost sea-salty tang."
The Niagara EscarpmentCanada’s fruit basket – one of the southernmost parts of Canada - an idyllic little peninsula with a unique microclimate due to the ocean-like Great lakes that surround it. Dolomitic Limestone abounds here - interspersed with clay - giving the wines intense perfume; a rich mouthfeel and a defining iron grip that speaks of the Escarpment where the grapes are grown – the same Escarpment from whence tumble the world-famous ‘Niagara Falls.’BACHELDER NIAGARA 2009:"A deft wine that is at once forwardly-scented, broad and lithe: despite its weight, it nonetheless retains all the classic defining minerality of Niagara’s prized limestone soils."
Burgundy – 'La Bourgogne'Burgundy is Thomas' spiritual home – the sacred ground where the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir grapes first evolved, then happily grew and acclimatized themselves.The blessed Côte d'Or (the 'Golden Hills') is a long strand of hills stretching from Dijon to Chalon is home to the region's 'sense-of-place'-defining limestone. There we work with the best organic vignerons to ensure that the grapes are grown to exacting specifications, the vineyards stretching from Nuits-St. Georges in the north, through Beaune heading south to Puligny-Montrachet.Bachelder has rented modest but deep cellars in Nuits-St. Georges: centuries old, vaulted cellars in which to make and patiently age our wine.BACHELDER BOURGOGNE 2009:"A finely-perfumed, tightly-wound wine that offers the classic refined fruit and textured minerality of the best limestone terroirs of Burgundy – a subtle yet captivating wine that cries out for food!"
Why Chardonnay?The Chardonnay grape may have evolved in Burgundy, but it is now planted all over the wine world. While many wine drinkers have tired of oaky, sweet Chardonnays from hotter climates, places like Oregon and Niagara - which are similar in climate to Burgundy - are becoming renowned for the tension and excitement that they express in their Chardonnay.Chardonnay seems finally set to once again assume its true destiny of being the ‘once and forever’ grape! As Chardonnay heads off into a future at once more mineral, more chic, and more suave – it will be a future where wines with texture, with ‘tension,’ complexity, and minerality find their true place in wine lovers’ hearts.