Friday, May 31, 2013

Winemaker Jordan Harris from Tarara Winery in Virginia: One of “40 American Tastemakers under 40” (Wine Enthusiast), USA

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Jordan Harris,Winemaker and General Manager, Tarara Winery, Leesburg, VA

The Wine Enthusiast has just published a list of “40 American Tastemakers under 40”. One of the young stars is Virginia winemaker Jordan Harris from Tarara. Here is why the Wine Enthusiast selected him:

Jordan Harris, 32, Winemaker and General Manager, Tarara Winery, Leesburg, VA

“While many of Virginia’s vintners are concentrating their efforts on the sure sellers—namely Bordeaux-style blends, Chardonnay and the state’s signature grape, Viognier— Harris champions varieties that are oft overlooked in the Commonwealth. Pushing the boundaries of his blends, Harris is blazing trails in the state with bottlings like his 2010 #SocialSecret, a heavy-hitting hodgepodge of Tannat, Petit Verdot and Pinotage; and his 2010 Honah Lee White, a sapid mix of Viognier, Roussanne and Petit Manseng.”

See also:
An Afternoon with Jordan Harris, Winemaker of Tarara, Virginia, USA
TasteCamp 2012 in Virginia, USA – A Tour d’Horizont
Vineyard Walk, Wine Tasting in the Vineyard and Lunch in the Tarara Tank Cellar with Wine Maker Jordan Harris, Tarara Winery, USA

Vendredi du Vin #52 : Rare and Forgotten Grapes

This posting is being published as part of the Vendredis du Vin, a monthly blog event in France. Participating wine bloggers - mainly in France - are all releasing postings today under the same heading.

Picture: Vendredi du Vin

This month's Vendredi du Vin is orchestrated by Jef Heering from Balthazar Magnum. The theme is l'Arche de Noé des Cépages Rares et Oubliés – rare and forgotten grapes. Well, “Harris champions varieties that are oft overlooked in the Commonwealth”.

Jordan Harris and Tarara Winery

Tarara Winery is in Loudoun County, about an hour by car from Washington DC. The beautifully manicured 475 acre farm stretches along the Potomac River. Founded in 1989 by RJ (Whitie) and Margaret Hubert, Tarara is home to some of Virginia’s finest wines. Annual production is 10.000 cases.

Jordan grew up in a little village in Canada, an hour north of Toronto. He went to a Culinary School and became the manager of a fine Italian restaurant. He left the restaurant and went back to school for Oenology and Viticulture at Niagara College. Before moving on to Virginia, he made wine in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada, where he worked for a few wineries.

Jordan shares the winemaker job with his Canadian compatriot Jonathan Boyle.

In the Vineyard with Jordan Harris

Tarara’s main vineyards are Nevaeh (the estate vineyard managed by Ben Renshaw), Tranquility (in Purcellville, also managed by Ben Renshaw), Honah Lee (in Orange managed by Wayne and Vera Preddy), Mountainview (in Roanoke County managed by Megan and Andy Seibel), and Indian Springs (in the Winchester area managed by Steven Brown).

Pictures: Jordan Harris,Winemaker and General Manager, Tarara Winery, Leesburg, VA

Nevaeh is made up of three distinct blocks – The Hill, The Road and The Pond.

The Hill has the deepest soils made up of red clay with limestone deposits cutting through the block. The varieties planted on the Hill and used for Tarara bottlings include: Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Viognier and Petit Manseng.

The Road is the flattest of the sights and furthest from the Potomac River. Varieties planted and used for Tarara bottlings: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.

The Pond is the coolest site of Nevaeh. This block is the best for Tarara’s aromatic whites like Viognier, but is also home to some of Tarara’s most elegant Merlot due to the length of the growing season it can have and small amounts of Grenache and Mourvedre.

Tranquility Vineyard is a seven acre vineyard planted in 1999 by it's owners: Al and Mary Taylor, set in the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont. Starting with the 2011 season, the Tranquility Vineyard is being leased entirely by Tarara Winery. Tarara only bottles wine using the Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat.

Honah Lee Vineyard is a very steep South-West facing slope at about 1000 feet elevation. The wines from Honah Lee tend to be the most “exotic” of the wines produced at Tarara with soft structures and lovely rich ripe fruit. Honah Lee grows the following varieties for Tarara: Viognier, Petit Manseng, Roussanne, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Pinotage.

In the Cellar with Jordan Harris

Jordan Harris is very passionate about the natural wine concepts. The idea behind the winemaking at Tarara Winery is to take a minimalist approach to allow the vineyards to best express themselves. Jordan believes that fine wines are made in the vineyard. Every time they have to get in the way of the wine, it is less of an expression of that vineyard.

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller and Jordan Harris,Winemaker and General Manager, Tarara Winery, Leesburg, VA

The Tarara wines are made in a 6000 square foot cave – which we did not visit, but I could look at the cave from the tasting area - to allow nature to give the winemaker consistent cellar temperatures and perfect humidity. This allows the wine to age gracefully in predominately Virginia Oak barrels until the wine is ready for bottling and eventual release.

Jordan Harris: “All of our wines are meant to be a definition of the grapes. The wines are not treated with enzymes, fining agents or any unnecessary additives. The wines will occasionally need slight adjustments with sugar or acid to help the wines keep their balance and to fine tune the alcohol. All of the wines are fermented on indigenous yeasts with limited temperature control. Our belief is that the natural warmer fermentations allow wines to have more structure and depth, while the cooler temperatures are less necessary to preserve the aromatics which are abundant from the vineyard.”

40 Under 40: America's Tastemakers
Published on Apr 30, 2013
By Wine Enthusiast Editors

Ian Brand, 32
Winemaker, Coastview Vineyards, Le P'tit Paysan, Monterey, CA

Bibiana González Rave, 35
Winemaker, Rave Vines & Wines, Santa Rosa, CA

Morgan Twain-Peterson, 32
Winemaker/Proprietor, Bedrock Wine Co., Sonoma, CA

Matt Stamp, MS, 35
Education Director, Guild of Sommeliers, Napa, CA

Erin Sullivan, 33
Wine Director, Acme Fine Wine shop, Napa, CA

Ian Cauble, MS, 32
U.S. Ambassador, Krug Champagne, San Mateo, CA

Jordan Harris, 32
Winemaker and General Manager, Tarara Winery, Leesburg, VA

Carla Rzeszewki, 34
Wine Director, The Breslin, John Dory Oyster Bar and The Spotted Pig, New York City

Ivy Mix, 27
Co-founder, Speed Rack, Brooklyn, NY

Ravi DeRossi, 38
Owner, DeRossi Global, New York City

Greg Engert, 33
Beer Director and Partner, Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Washington, D.C.

Christina Turley, 28
Brand Ambassador and Head of Sales, Turley Wine Cellars, Napa, CA

Jesse Katz, 29
Winemaker, Lancaster Estate and Roth, Healdsburg, CA

Nicole Erny, 28
Master Cicerone, Oakland, CA

Alpana Singh, MS, 36
Proprietor, The Boarding House, Chicago

Andy Lewis, 31
Distiller, Rock Town Distillery, Little Rock, AR

Marko Karakasevic, 39
Master Distiller, Charbay Distillers, St. Helena, CA

Kristy Melton, 32
Winemaker, Clos du Val, Napa, CA

Pascaline Lepeltier, 32
Beverage Director, Rouge Tomate, New York City

“Within a year of taking over the dusty 4,500- bottle cellar of two-star L’Auberge Bretonne in the Pays Nantais, this Angers, France-native was named Best Loire Valley Young Sommelier and Best Sommelier in all of Brittany. In 2008, she took second place in the Best French Sommelier competition, the highest finish ever for a woman. In addition to upping the quality of the wine list at Rouge Tomate NYC, Lepeltier years ago quietly outflanked scores of so-called mixology meccas by transforming the Midtown restaurant’s cocktail menu into one of the first truly season-driven, farm- to-bar affairs.”

Leo Robitschek, 31
Bar Manager, The Bar at the NoMad Hotel, New York City

Jasmine Hirsch, 33
Director of Sales and Marketing, Hirsch Vineyards, Cazadero, CA

Laura Maniec, MS, 33
Owner, Corkbuzz Wine Studio, New York City

Philip Rubin, 28
Director of Sales & Marketing

Phillip Zucchino, 29
Director of Wine Programs, The Wine Feed, Raleigh, NC

Joe Campanale, 29
Beverage Director/Partner L’Artusi, dell’anima, L’Apicio and Anfora, New York City

Matt Taylor, 35
Winemaker/Farmer, Reuling Vineyard and Front Porch Farm, Forestville, CA

Paul Zitarelli, 35
Owner, Full Pull Wines, Seattle

Fred Merwarth, 35
Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, Co-owner
Oskar Bynke, 37

Finger Lakes pioneer Hermann J. Wiemer revolutionized fine winemaking in the region. Since 2007, the infusion of Wiemer’s long-time winemaking assistant, Fred Merwarth, and friend, Oskar Bynke, as co-owners, has elevated not just the winery, but Finger Lakes wines as a category. Merwarth and Bynke met over a decade ago while students at Cornell University. Ironically, while Merwarth studied business and Bynke studied agronomy, it’s Merwarth who is known for his thoughtful winemaking and Bynke for his business savvy and strident ambassadorship.

Nicholas Miller, 33
VP of Sales and Marketing, Bien Nacido Vineyards, Santa Barbara, CA

Karl Wente, 36
Winemaker, Wente Vineyards, Livermore, CA

Hardy Wallace, 39
Winemaker, blogger Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery, Calistoga, CA

Fernando Beteta, MS, 36
Director of Education and Social Technologies, Tenzing Wine & Spirits, Chicago

Lesley Townsend Duval, 34
Founder and Executive Director, Manhattan Cocktail Classic, New York City

Tyler Baillet, 33
President and Founder, Second Glass, Boston

Jason Littrell, 32
Former president U.S. Bartenders’ Guild, New York Chapter, New York City

Damon Boelte, 31
Radio Host on the The Speakeasy & Bar Director, Prime Meats, Brooklyn

Erin Barbour Scala, 32
Wine Director, Public, New York City

Gavin Chanin, 26
Winemaker, Price Chanin Vineyards and Chanin Wine Co., Sonoma, CA

Scott Beattie, 38
Bar Manager and Partner, Goose & Gander, St. Helena, CA

schiller-wine: Related Posting

Northern Virginia Magazine October 2012: Wine Recs from Local Winos

Visiting Jennifer Breaux Blosser and Breaux Vineyards in Virginia, USA

Virginia Wines Shine in San Francisco - 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition, USA

Judging Virginia Wines in Suffolk, Virginia - Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic 2012

A New Winery in Virginia - The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards, USA

As Close as You Can Get to (French) Champagne at the US East Coast – Claude Thibaut and His Virginia Thibaut Janisson Sparklers at screwtop Wine Bar

Jim Law and Linden Vineyards in Virginia – A Profile, USA

Boxwood Winery in Virginia: Lunch with Wine Makers Rachel Martin and Adam McTaggert in the Chai between the Tanks – TasteCamp 2012 East Kick-Off, USA

Book Review: "Beyond Jefferson's Vines - The Evolution of Quality Wine in Virginia" by Richard Leahy, USA

An Afternoon with Jordan Harris, Winemaker of Tarara, Virginia, USA

TasteCamp 2012 in Virginia, USA – A Tour d’Horizont 

Vineyard Walk, Wine Tasting in the Vineyard and Lunch in the Tarara Tank Cellar with Wine Maker Jordan Harris, Tarara Winery, USA

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