Owner | CEO | Executive Winemaker
Growing up on the Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe and in Bordeaux, France, winemaking wasn’t actually Laurent Montalieu’s first choice of profession. As a student in agricultural engineering at the Institute of Oenology in Bordeaux, Laurent became friends, through their shared interest in skiing, with a group of students who were studying viticulture and winemaking. He would help with vineyard chores to allow for more ski time with his buddies. It was in those vineyards that Laurent found his calling.
In 1987, a pivotal move to Oregon led Laurent to Bridgeview Vineyards and then, in 1995, to WillaKenzie Estate where he worked as partner and winemaker. In 1999 he purchased 80 acres in Oregon’s Yamhill-Carlton AVA, which would grow into he estate vineyard and winery, Solena Estate. Finally in 2003, he founded the first fully-dedicated custom crush facility in the Willamette Valley, NW Wine Company. The sloping hills of Domaine Loubejac were planted in 2007 as part of NW Wine Company’s vineyard portfolio, and since then NW Wine Company has grown to be one of Oregon’s largest land-holding winery.
Over the years, Laurent has dialed in his unique style. A focus on growing the highest quality fruit to achieve balanced and terroir-driven wines with freshness, depth, and structure are marks of his real-world education.
“We have always believed in making wines that reflect the ground in which they’re rooted. With the variety of soils through all of our sites, paired with the diverse varieties and clones planted, we are always looking for that ultimate expression of terroir.”