Hand-wrought, elegant, self-possessed
Proteus is a tiny but purposeful estate specializing in Pinot Noir wines, assembled from distinct vineyard parcels in the Willamette Valley’s Chehalem Mountains.
A retired opera conductor turned passionate vigneron, Peter Jacoby owns or sharecrops various parcels, barely five acres in total. Gathering his team on his estate, everything is worked by hand at his direction to perform integrative production techniques. The delicate dance of farming, harvesting, and raising spotless wines is similar in many regards to working with an orchestra ensemble. Although not technically organic, his approach highlights the use of local and organic products for sustainable vine and soil health.
Why Proteus, the shape-shifting deity of the sea? Peter sees himself as an extension of the brand, a person willing to adapt to situations to remain relevant and ever-willing to challenge himself and his team to investigate new techniques in the vineyard and winery to achieve greater balance, elegance and freshness in the wines.
Peter farms for unreasonably low yields, and allows the wine to express itself through separate fermentations of distinct parcels from his 2-acre, 20-year-old Estate Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, and leases the Manissa-Jo Vineyard in the same AVA, a monopole vineyard that was planted in 2005 and is farmed by Peter Jacoby and his team. Wherever possible, he allows native yeasts to ferment spontaneously, followed by natural settling and stabilization. Peter filters the wines only when absolutely necessary – and then only lightly – to burnish their brightness and vivacity in the glass. Winemaking decisions are guided by instincts and taste at this domain, not spreadsheets.
Based a few miles from Newberg, on a southwest facing ridge overlooking a beautifully concealed swale, Peter excels in carefully grown, un-manipulated wines that are among the most exciting we’ve tasted in recent memory, for their simultaneous confidence, style, and savory drinkability.