In 1983, with the encouragement from winemakers making their move from California, Jim Bernau cleared away an old pioneer plum orchard in the Salem Hills, hidden underneath scotch broom and blackberry vines. Unable to afford drip irrigation, he watered them by hand using 17 lengths of 75’ garden hose to get the grapelings through their first summer.
Jim’s vision of organizing wine enthusiasts to help build a world class winery in Oregon has, over time, resulted in the winery being named “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” by Wine Enthusiast. Among the winery’s unique distinctions is that it's owned by more than 16,000 wine enthusiasts.
Since the winery founding in 1983, stewardship of the land has been a key principle in our winemaking. We practice environmentally sustainable farming and were part of the founding of the Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE) program.
Our approach is to grow, by hand, the highest quality fruit using careful canopy management and yield balance, to achieve wines that are truly expressive of the varietal and the place where they are grown. We ferment and barrel each vineyard lot separately and display the best of these in our single vineyard designate bottlings. Our stylistic emphasis is on pure varietal fruit characters, with attention to depth, richness of mouthfeel and balance. The wines are truly a collaborative effort of the entire vineyard and winemaking staff.