Carla and Kevin Chambers harvest the cider apples on what is now Résonance Wines property. ##Photo by Andrea Johnson
Koosah Farm in the Eola-Amity Hills contains not only vines but also an organic cider apple orchard. ##Photo by Andrea Johnson

Jadot Acquires Koosah

Chambers family sells to French winery once more

By OWP Staff

Résonance Wines, Maison Louis Jadot’s first venture outside Burgundy since its 1859 inception, has acquired the entirety of Koosah Vineyard & Farm, 82.5 acres of land with 44 under vine. Located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, the new site was developed by Kevin and Carla Chambers, who, coincidently, established Résonance before the French acquisition in 2013.

The purchase creates a triad of vineyard holdings in what the owners believe is the most ideal AVAs in the Valley. “When we first arrived in Willamette Valley, we knew it was perfect for growing our favorite grapes, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” says Thibault Gagey, director of operations for Résonance. “There are many good places in the Valley to make wine, and to us, there are three very special places: Yamhill-Carlton, Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity Hills. So, after we purchased land in the first two, it was a natural progression to find something here in Eola-Amity Hills. Our strategy is to continue with Pinot Noir while also growing our Chardonnay production at a high-quality level. Koosah Farm is ideal for both.”

Aptly named, Koosah, which means “heavenly sky” in the American Indian Chinook language, reaches the highest elevation in the AVA, at 700 to 1,100 feet. The southeast-facing, steeply sloped, profoundly rocky hilltop site was planted in two stages: 28 acres in 2016 and 16 acres in 2020. Currently, Chardonnay comprises 26 acres, Pinot Noir 18, and another five are available for future planting.

The purchase continues the long-standing collaboration between the Chambers and Gagey families, which began with the 2013 purchase of the Résonance Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton. “It’s too big of a coincidence that we decided to sell at the same time that Résonance was looking for a special site to express the Eola-Amity terroir,” Kevin Chambers says. “What brought us together again, the cosmos?”

“We’ve kept a strong friendship with the Chambers family and trust their judgment, so we asked them to keep an eye out for a good location,” Gagey explains. “Initially, it wasn’t important whether the site was under vine or not; it merely had to be the right place — sense of place is so important to us. When they told us their site was for sale, it was an easy decision. I’d visited Koosah after the first planting and had the same great feeling that touched my soul when I first stood on Résonance Vineyard, never thinking we’d wind up owning this farm.

“We know Carla and Kevin are people who have done things the right way, evident from the success of Résonance Vineyard, a success they are a part of,” Gagey continues. “We are very lucky to be in this situation, working again with friends we know and trust. It is a great story.”

Leveraging four decades of knowledge and experience in Oregon wine country, and using organic, Biodynamic and regenerative farming practices, Kevin, Carla and son Nate planned, carved and planted the vineyard from the outset and have maintained the vines, too. With the farm’s first full crop harvested this past fall, the Chambers family has accomplished what they intended.

“I’ve been part of developing hundreds of sites for others,” says Kevin, “But this is only the second for us. It’s kind of like a child, in that we birthed it, raised it, and now, it’s ready to graduate. We are thrilled to watch its sustained development under the stewardship of Résonance.”

“It’s bittersweet, of course, to let go and move on,” adds Carla, “but also exciting to see what will come from this place moving forward. We’ll be able to drink the wines in the future and taste what we started. To us, this isn’t an ending but a transition.”

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