Jim Prosser established J.K. Carriere in 1999. The name for the winery is the combined names of his grandfathers. For the label Jim chose to feature a wasp prominently on all J.K. Carriere labels. This family of wasps, also known as Vespidae, has twice nearly killed him due to a severe allergy. Jim got a degree from Oregon State before entrenching himself in the corporate world of Xerox and commercial real estate. He spent time in Europe, lived in Lithuania as a business advisor for the Peace Corps, climbed in Pakistan, traveled five continents, wound down a family business, sold Christmas trees, and cycled the United States before being seduced … by the elusiveness of Pinot Noir.
Jim has come to understand Pinot noir from the grape cellar end of things and learned the trade by working for eight great producers in four countries including: Erath, Domaine Drouhin, Brick House and Chehalem in Oregon; Villa Maria in New Zealand; Tarra Warra and T'Gallant in Australia; and Domaine Georges Roumier in Burgundy. These are his friends and they have provided his foundation.
The vineyards that are chosen for the J.K. Carriere wines are some of the best in the state. Jim has four criteria that he applies to his selection in order of importance: #1-the site including exposition, soil etc. #2-the farming-essentially the people who are working the land. #3-vine age and #4 is the clonal selection or mix in the vineyard. Nearly all of the sites that he works with are organic or biodynamic as well. There is also a very hands off approach to winemaking. He employs native yeasts for primary and secondary fermentations and uses oak very judiciously. The focus on the winemaking is to enhance the natural acidity and create wines that are made for food.
From the start J.K. Carriere wines have received critical acclaim. Jim will tell you his success stems from great vineyards, focused winemaking and the willingness to go right through the middle of the work. He makes primarily Pinot Noir, producing classic, vivid and ageable wines with fruit on the first uptake, movement on the palate and elegance throughout. Jim's intent is to astonish you, intentionally spark you, and give you every reason to share that experience with someone else. In fact, this is his ruthless pursuit.
Wakawaka Wine Reviews' visit to the vineyard: