Appellation(s): Chehalem Mountains AVA
Producer: Jay Somers & Todd Hansen
Annual Production: 500 cases
Farming: Dry Farmed, Sustainable all wines estate grown
I recently started working with our 1st Domestic property- Todd Hansen, proprietor and grower of Longplay Wine. Todd developed an interest in wine while serving in the American diplomatic corps in France, Chile and South Africa.
In 2005, Todd bought the 54-acre Lia’s Vineyard (re-named after his daughter Lia) that had formerly been part of Rex Hill’s Jacob-Hart Vineyard. Rex Hill changed ownership and parts of the Jacob-Hart Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains was sold to Todd and Olenik Vineyards, with Rex Hill retaining ownership of some of the vineyard. Neighboring vineyards include J. Christopher’s Appassionata Vineyard and Adelsheim’s Quarter Mile Lane Vineyard. The vineyard is about four miles northwest of Newberg.
Lia’s Vineyard plantings originally date to 1990, with subsequent plantings in 1993, 1999-2002 and 2009. The dry-farmed vines include 25 acres of Pinot Noir (eight clones of Pinot Noir: 114,115, 667, 777, “828,” Pommard, Wädenswil and Mariafeld), and a little over 2 acres of Wente clone Chardonnay. The original (1990 & 1993) Pommard, Wädenswil and Wente Chardonnay are own-rooted and subsequent plantings of these clones and selections were propagated from own-rooted cuttings. Soils are primarily Jory with a transition to sedimentary around the 400 foot contour. Elevation ranges from 380 to 560 feet.
Longplay is a three-man operation, with Todd doing the marketing, sales, compliance and farming, Javier Marin, owner of JM Vinegrower LLC, (the long time ex vineyard manager at Shea Vineyard) managing the vineyard, and winemaker Jay Somers of J. Christopher wines crafting the Longplay wines at his facility across the street from Lia’s Vineyard. Aron Hess was the winemaker from the inaugural vintage in 2007 until 2010, replaced by Jay Somers with the 2011 vintage. Somers shepherds the Longplay wines with Todd’s decision making input, and as such, Longplay wines are distinct from J. Christopher wines.
Todd is a vinyl LP fan and a graphic of a record on a turntable is displayed on his labels. Todd’s philosophy and analogy between wine and music is explained in detail on his website and reveals the insight into the label’s name. He emphasizes that his wines take an old school approach, meaning “analog wine for a digital world.”
All Longplay wines are estate grown. Commercial yeasts are avoided with Pinot Noir but used with Chardonnay, and there are no additives used. Sugar and acid adjustments are employed when necessary. Chardonnay is fermented in neutral oak barrels and Pinot Noir in 25% or less, usually 15%, new French oak barrels. 80% of the estate vineyard fruit is sold to other vintners, including White Rose Estate, Seven of Hearts, J. Christopher and Patricia Green.
“Sadly now your thoughts turn to the stars
Where we have gone you know you never can go.
Watcher of the skies watcher of all
This is your fate alone, this fate is your own”
- Watcher of the Skies, Genesis 1972
VITICULTURE & VINFICATION
- From 100 % Estate Grown & Dry-Farmed Fruit
- Extensive diversity and unique wines reflect the fastidious commitment to clonal selections including Wädenswil, Pommard, 114, 115, 667, 828 and Mariafeld
- Very minimal use of New Oak with a maximum of 25 % yields wines of freshness and aromatics
- The Band consists of Javier Marin,Vineyard Manager; Jay Somers, Winemaker and lead tambourine players Todd & Lia Hansen
- Grapes are destemmed most years
- The must is cold soaked for 3-5 days to best extract color and aroma from the grapes
- Punching down the cap occurs twice daily
- Minimal Fining and filtering results in wines of great purity and elegance