Johan Winery & Vineyards

I recently had a great visit to Johan Winery & Vineyards and came away liking what they are doing very much. Located in the Van Duzer Corridor AVA, this is a cooler area than most of the WV region and it’s the whites that really showed the best although the reds were very good. The wines uniformly were consistent with earlier harvesting and lively backbones of ample structure/acidity. But what stood out most was how they just screamed with complexity and unique varietal character. Some standouts tried follow but I think the whole line up is definitely worth tasting:

-Kerner-just a friggin brilliant wine to start the tasting

-Chardonnay-Really flavorful and complex, already served some I bought to oohs and aahs

-Maceration-An excellent skin contact blend of aromatic whites with great depth, moderate to light skin contact character (not really that tannic), and refreshing liveliness

-Blaufrankisch-A tasty rendition that tells me maybe the variety should get more respect

-Pinot Noir Sapience-Very good earlier-harvested PN but not at the same level as the whites

Before tasting Brian gave me a quick tour of the vineyards while discussing their incredible stewardship of the land and biota. While biodynamic, the discussion was pragmatic and rational enough for this engineer/science guy to accept what they are doing is thoughtful and producing amazing results. You could really see the health of vineyards and the ground cover. What’s in the bottle really tells me they are very in touch with what it takes to let the grapes speak loudly in the finished wine.

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I’m a big fan of Johan’s wines - on the natural side of the ledger but clean and always interesting. Really enjoyed their Pinot Gris Drueskall and Zweigelt. And a beautiful setting for a tasting overlooking the surrounding vineyards and countryside.

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