LE CLOS JORDANNE BEGAN AS A VISION – TO BRING TWO EXTRAORDINARY WINEMAKING REGIONS TOGETHER TO PRODUCE AN OUTSTANDING REPRESENTATION OF NIAGARA TERROIR EXPRESSED THROUGH ULTRA PREMIUM PINOT NOIR AND CHARDONNAY WINES.
Le Clos Jordanne was inspired by an original initiative by Inniskillin cofounders Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser. In 1993, Inniskillin entered into a joint venture with Burgundian producer Jaffelin. Together they created limited edition VQA wines called "Alliance" made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes grown in Niagara. This reinforced Canada's ability to grow cool climate varieties in the Niagara region that are well known and respected in Burgundy, France. The collaboration combined the expertise of winemakers Bernard Repolt from Jaffelin and Karl Kaiser from Inniskillin. The distinction of these wines were based on barrel selection and vineyards that were producing the best fruit for these varietals. The wines were made until 1997 with Chardonnay being produced every year and the Pinot Noir only being made in the very best vintages (93, 95, 97).
The success of Inniskillin's joint venture led Donald Triggs, wine pioneer and CEO of Vincor, the company that owned Inniskillin and Jackson-Triggs Wines, to continue developing their relationship with Jaffelin, who had since then become a part of Boisset Wines. Together, they conducted careful research across the Niagara region, hand selecting vineyards that would be properly suited for growing ultra premium cool climate grapes. Specialty Chardonnay and Pinot Noir rootstock was imported from France and expertly planted in the chosen vineyards. The combined winemaking expertise and passion of Boisset’s Pascal Marchand and Vincor’s Thomas Bachelder, ensured that no detail was overlooked in paying respect to the time honoured traditional vineyard and winemaking techniques used in Burgundy, France.
EXCLUSIVELY PINOT NOIR AND CHARDONNAY
Le Clos Jordanne's objectives were to show the similarities between Niagara and Burgundy and yet at the same time reveal the uniqueness of the Niagara Terroir. Throughout the range of wines, Le Clos Jordanne wanted to minimize the winemaking intervention and focus on the vineyard differences. The Niagara region is ideal for growing early ripening grape varieties, such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which are the key noble grape varieties in Burgundy, France. Furthermore, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with their thin skins, have the sensitivity required to express their own growing conditions with precision and elegance.
OPTIMIZING TERROIR EXPRESSION
The notion of terroir is defined by the expression of a grape variety throughout a range of vineyards with different soil profiles and climate differences. The other important aspect is the human role in the equation to adapt the profile of production to the natural growing conditions. This included:
- Hand picking three different vineyards in the village of Jordan in the VQA sub-appellation of Twenty Mile Bench. This area presents an interesting variation in soil profile, altitude and climate which enhances significant terroir differentiation.
- Making the right choice of clone and rootstock for both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to fit the parameters of soil and climate within the region.
- High density plantation is used to enhance concentration by forcing roots to go deeper into the soil to get their nutrients.
- Hand-selection of specific sections of each vineyard based on their quality to consistently produce good fruit and wine with a very specific sense of place.
- Adaption of production yields based on each vineyard block.
- Sustainable viticulutre practices preserving the natural balance of vines by minimizing the intake of pesticides and maximizing the soil’s natural work.