Chris James Cellars is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery producing wines in Carlton, Oregon. The beautiful Chris James property has views for days and sits on volcanic soils of the northern Willamette Valley, to which contribute to the world class terroir of the region. Today, they a lineup of Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Dolcetto and Lagrein and more. We visited for Oregon Wine Wednesdays to share with you our experience!
The tasting room is a brand new addition to the Chris James production facility. As you walk around the building you come upon an expansive wooden deck looking over the timber below and out to the valley beyond. The pergola and Adirondack chairs give a warm, homey charm that compels one to take a deep breath, kick back, sip some wine and just be one with the surroundings. It’s appointed in a simplistic yet elegant style accompanied by beautiful blue buggy pine planked boarded walls, as gorgeous green philodendrons hang from the ceiling, with cozy modern inspired furniture, and custom made paintings created by the farmer and winemaker himself, Chris Barnes, himself. The art lined walls speak to how Chris envisions wine.
Ten minutes west of Carlton off the beaten path, it feels as if you’ve driven into a serene setting of a different world, those rustic cabin vibes gave us all the feels. Surrounded by old oaks, mature fir trees and spattering of wildflowers — you arrive at Chris James Cellars. Truly a hidden gem on the edge of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA amongst the timber. Heidi said it best, it feels like you should be riding horses and camping with how perfectly rural it is! It’s definitely a surprise to come upon a vibrant and thriving vineyard in a location like this.
visit the Chris James website
About the Winemaker
If we had 3 hours to record another podcast solely on Chris’s scientific passion for wine … you bet your bootie he would fill that entire segment! What a fun, intelligent guy! He got his start with wine as an engineer who has worked in the technology sector for over 15 years.
Personally, I think all winemakers are quite fascinating, to be honest, and I do appreciate the times I can listen to one of them geek out on a romantic craft such as wine.
He attended Chemeketa wine studies where he studied the viticulture program before transferring to the oenology program. After having one vintage under his belt, he designed and built the Chris James Cellars winery in 2016 with space for a tasting room as well. In Spring 2018, they had their tasting room grand opening!
It’s no secret Chris unapologetically explores and experiments with different grapes within the wine world. We genuinely can’t wait to see what’s to come from these two.
READ MORE ABOUT CHRIS JAMES CELLARS
Are we connected on Instagram yet? Connect with us and follow along!
Our next phase will have public facing On-location experiences.
Oh my, talk about an abundance of aromatic collections. Chris James Cellars truly focuses on the aromatic varietals grown right on their property. They have various single varietals, some interesting blends and also sparkling to enjoy. The options are almost endless and we can honestly say there is something for every palate on that menu.
Raise your hand if you think Rosé is a state of mind? *raises both hands*. Chris James’ Rosé is just stunning, both on the nose and on the palate. The beautiful pale pink color is the result of calculated skin contact time, and once again they nailed it with the aromatics. I personally drink rosé year-round, but since Oregon went straight into Summer from Winter, it’s the best time to pop open a bottle while you’re out with friends or experiencing their tasting room with pergola porch views.
The full varietal list includes Pinot Noir (Pommard, 777, and 828 clones), Sauvignon Blanc, Dolcetto, Lagrein, Gewürztraminer, Gamay Noir, Scheurebe, and Huxelrebe. New planting included Wadensville Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay.
Have a look for yourself by clicking below for the full wine list.
View the impressive wine list on their website. Chris James has something for everyone, their wide range of wines accommodates pretty much any palate! They do a superb job at emphasizing the aromatics of wine. Click the image to be redirected.
all the wines
Chris James Cellars has 17 varietals within the Reds, Whites, Rosé, and Sparkling wine categories. Below are a few forthcoming releases:
2018 Cuvée Blanc
$18Releasing June 2019 ‐‐ Aromas of rose petal, flint,
and rosemary. Flavors of white plum, citrus, and
delicate white tea. 100% Müller Thurgau
$24Releasing June 2019 ‐‐ Fermented and aged in
neutral oak and sourced from the same vineyard as
our 2017 Riesling. Aromas of beeswax, meyer lemon
and crystalized ginger. Flaovrs of green apple,
tanderine, and lime.
Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé
$20Released May 2019 — The second crop is late-ripening fruit that matures after the primary clusters have been harvested. In 2018, the long season provided the right growing conditions for the seconds to be used for Rosé wine and we made decision to produce this delightful sparkling Rosé.
Chris James Cellars was featured on Season 1 of Wine Crush podcast. Chris talks about his start with wine as an engineer who has worked in the technology sector for over 15 years. As an engineer, he has always had an intense desire to make the things that he is interested in. This desire motivated forays into cooking, heavy equipment, and engine building; but farming and wine making has always held a special place in his heart.