J.K. Carriere

The name J.K. Carriere is a contraction of Jim Prosser’s two grandfathers’ names. The wasp that features prominently on the label has, due to severe allergy, twice nearly killed him. In 1999, on the heels of cellar work for eight classic Pinot Noir producers (OR, NZ, AUS, FR) and still working for two, Jim boot-strapped his operation and started making wine as J.K. Carriere Wines in Newberg, Oregon. For its first ten years the winery operated from a true 100-year-old barn, which allowed both the business and reputation to flourish. In November 2007, Jim purchased 40 acres of grape-growing land on the southeast flank of Parrett Mountain, in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. In 2009 the first vineyard blocks were planted, a new winery building was completed, and J.K. Carriere settled into its new home in the hills.

The winery, a barn of this century, is both state-of-the art and scale-of-a-man whose hands are in the wine. It’s the ethos of understated conservation and the beauty of simple physics, from the bottom of its underground barrel caves to its heat-ventilating clerestory. The first harvest vinified in the new winery was 2009. The vineyard, personally farmed by Jim and his crew at the winery, is non-irrigated, organically farmed (noncertified) and sitting at an elevation of 500 to 700 ft. With eight variants of Jory soil (volcanic) and young Pinot Noir vines, the red fruit ripens reasonably early, with moderate acid and substantial structure. Fruit comes from the Front Block planted in 2009 (Pommard, VSP), the Lower Block planted in 2010 (Wadenswill, VSP), and the East Block planted in 2011 (Pommard, VSP). Seventeen additional acres of plantable vineyard are currently in development.