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Founded in 2015 by Chris and his late father, Dr Richard Hermann, 00 Wines (pronounced ‘Double Zero’) is very much a family affair. As owners Chris and Kathryn Hermann explain the name, zero is the number of potential in numerology. One zero for Chardonnay and another for Pinot Noir. Given the focus on these two grape varieties, comparisons are inevitably drawn with Burgundy. While there are undoubted similarities (and mutual admiration) between the two regions, what is truly exciting here is not so much the ability to imitate, as to forge something totally new.
Whilst they do produce Pinot Noir – the grape variety with which the Willamette Valley has become synonymous – the major focus at 00 is on Chardonnay. Grapes are sourced from small parcels throughout the Willamette Valley. As Chris puts it, in this way it is possible to access the oldest vines in the valley (50-60 years of age), which would be impossible from scratch.
Winemaking takes place at the 00 winery in Carlton, informed by (though not wedded to) biodynamics. Of particular note is their ‘black Chardonnay’ method of fully oxidising the grape must, with what Chris terms a “heavy extraction of phenolics”, making for wines of fabulous texture and shape.
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