The Wandering Wino Blog

J Wrigley Winery View



On occasion in the wine industry, there are inspiring and interesting wines, people, and places. In rare instances, one might discover a trifecta of all three. 

J Wrigley (Family) Vineyards hits the mark for everything people look for when hitting the wine trail. Kind hearted real people, a welcoming sense from them, a beautiful location, and of course great wines. A visit to the tasting room of J Wrigley in McMinville Oregon inside of the Wilamette Valley, would likely be the highlight to wine travelers day. 



John Jody Wrigley

I had a unique opportunity to meet with John and Jody Wrigley, in southern California, during their visit to pour wine wine for a Hollywood studios wine club.The story of John and Jody is almost like something from a feel good movie. Johns' background was in farming and Jody was in marketing. While John was vacationing on a salmon trip, he and Jody met  in Oregon's wine country.

The couple began dating, and shared an interest and passion for wine. John says the "Andrew Rich winery made a big impact" on John and his inspiration to get into the wine industry. The couple decided to dive full force in the wine industry with a vineyard, and they began to view properties. When John and Jody drove over the hill, they saw the first peak of an amazing view. They took one look and made the decision right there, this would be home. 


Wrigley Vineyards Tasting Room



On that barron property sat two tree stomps. John and Jody sat there and viewed their new property. John proposed on that spot late December 2006. Just two years later they would plant Pinot Noir in that very location. The vineyard block is appropriatly named, "Proposal Block." John talked about the vineyards soils on what may just be the most western vineyard in Oregon. The soils include sedimentary and volcanic rock. John believes it is this type of soil that helps for "bigger wines with more sturcture."


Upon tasting both the 2011 and the 2012, I discovered two fantastic Pinot Noirs that were very different from each other and much due to the climate of the vintages. The 2011 Proposal Block Pinot Noir showed clove, crushed dried cranberry with dark cherry fruit and earthy notes. I also found the 2011 to be high in concentration, with solid tannin structure that wove nicely into the wine. 12.5% and 26 months in oak. $45


The 2012 Proposal Block Pinot Noir shined with fruit driven fresh cranberry, raseberry, pommagranite, cherry, and mushroom. This Pinot Noir is a powerhouse of concentration, offering lots of spice that leaves a nice long finish. 14% and 10 months in oak. $45.00  


J Wrigley Riesling


Many wineries are family owned and operated, but the J Wrigley vineyards just show to their depths how much they truley are a family winery. Johns' grandmother was a Swiss/German that loved Riesling. Despite Riesling offering $2,000 per ton less than the highly coveted Pinot Noir of the WIllamette Valley, the Wrigleys' decided to plant 1 acre for her of their 9 acre vineyard. This is called Mae's Block after Mae Brog. This wine is very low production with just over 200 cases. I found this wine to be what I would call the "perfect anything" wine. Bring this to a picnic, drink it while making dinner, or pair it with a BBQ pork loin with Chinese hosin sauce and wok fried baby bok choy with garlic (I did).


I found this 2013 Willamette Valley McMinnville Riesling to be delisious, with notes of delicate white peach, soft apriocot, mineral driven, with a touch of pear and lime. A beautiful wine that shows a sense of the people (and place) that produced this wine. $18.00 



JWrigley Brand

The family dynamic goes deeper and deeper as I listened to both John and Jody tell their story. The "JW" logo is the family (cattle) brand from his father's ranch. Just another one of the subtle touches of the Wrigleys connection with family.

Blackberrys are also grown on the property. John and Jody's very young daughter, Jordan, helps make and sell blackberry jam in the tasting room. Jody says "she is quite the little sales-person."

I cannot help but think about what a fantastic trip people must have that visit this truely family tasting room. A view that drove the Wrigleys to "say yes," one ninth of the vineyard planted to make grandma happy, a marriage proposal in the Pinot Noir block, and a little girl that picks blackberrys to sell the jam produced in the tasting room. When people talk about a sense of place in wines, I have to think of a sense of people and geniuness coming from the Wrigleys. Genuine people, making genuine wine.