J. Albin Winery
In 1981, when the Oregon wine industry was tiny and little known, the Albin family planted a vineyard. Over thirty years later, their Pinot noirs show all the benefits gained for wines made from grapes whose qualities of complexity and depth can only be acquired by time.
From Beer to Wine, and Seattle to Oregon
A degree from U.C. Davis's Fermentation Science Program earned in 1978 launched John Albin's career. In the '80s, the good fermentation related jobs were in beer making, and John was brewmeister at craft breweries in Seattle for a decade. However, John's dream was to have a winery. Beer paid the bills, and the J Albin Winery became more than a dream with the purchase of land.
More About J. Albin Winery
The Albin's Laurel Vineyard was founded when John and his wife Lynn purchased a beautiful site in the Chehalem Mountains (now the Chehalem Mountains AVA) and planted Pinot Noir. They chose their location well, and Laurel Vineyard was soon joined by vineyards for wineries including Willakenzie and Beaux Freres. Today, the area is considered to be some of the best grape growing land in the Northwest.
The Albins lived in Seattle through the 1980's and commuted to their vineyard. They traveled down I-5 on weekends to tend his vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains. John sold the grapes to King Estate, saving a bit to make the first J. Albin wines.
Around 1990, selling grapes to King Estate led to managing a crew at crush time, to more seasonal jobs, and on to a full time position at King Estate. For seven years John was King Estate's Director of Viticulture and Winemaking. He managed the 450 acre organic estate vineyard at King Estate, worked with over 40 contract vineyards, and oversaw all winemaking. He was responsible for all wine production at Oregonís largest winery.
In 2008 he left King Estate and he is making his own wine full time.
The Laurel Vineyard
The Laurel Vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir : Pommard, 113, 114 and Coury clones. The Pinot Noirs produced from this vineyard have aromas of cedar, tobacco, earth and dark cherry. These are long-lived wines with natural acidity, smooth silky tannins, with complex flavors of dark red fruit, smoked meat and oak spice. The grapes are allowed to ripen slowly over an extended season. There is something special about these wines.
Celebrating its 29th growing season, the Laurel Vineyard bears some of the highest elevation and oldest vines in Oregon. The vineyard is comprised of Laurelwood and Loess wind-deposited soils from Eastern Oregon. They overlay basalt parent soils.