Nicolas-Jay is the story of a three-decade friendship between Burgundian winemaker Jean-Nicolas Méo and visionary music entrepreneur Jay Boberg. It’s also a story about building something that lasts, a small winery that expresses with distinction the greatness of Oregon Pinot Noir. Experience gained working the grand cru sites of Burgundy led Jean-Nicolas to the Nicolas-Jay Oregon estate, where he works with the finest fruit from the Bishop Creek Vineyard’s organically-farmed old vines. While the winery works with fruit from other top Willamette Valley appellations, the estate vineyard is found in the steep, rolling hills of Yamhill-Carlton. The densely-planted vines that grow there convey the region’s special character through alluring, expressive wines.
An unlikely partnership, the pair became friends in the late 1980’s when Jean-Nicolas was studying in the US. The two shared similar philosophies on life, friendship, wine, and music. While Jean-Nicolas immersed himself in his family’s renowned Domaine Méo-Camuzet and Jay continued to build IRS Records into a seminal indie label, they stayed friends. A visit to the Willamette Valley over 20 years later reignited Jay’s interest in the region. Committed to pursuing a lifelong passion for wine, he approached his friend with a proposal to build a small winery in the Oregon hills. Méo accepted.
The vineyard site was identified after a lengthy exploration of the Willamette Valley. The search took Jean-Nicolas and Jay to dozens of vineyards (and countless tasting rooms). They developed a liking for a wine made from grapes grown in the Bishop Creek Vineyard: powerful, complex, and elegant with a beautifully perfumed nose. It was so striking that when they learned it was for sale, they snapped it up. From the first release, bottlings have been very small. These are wines that will shine at the table while young or evolve with decades in the cellar.