Oregon Wine Industry History

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Transcript of Oregon Wine Industry History

  • INDUSTRY HISTORY

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    Oregon seemed inhabited by folks who often were of a stubbornly independent and even

    renegade character, never quite convinced of the perceived wisdoms and blessings of the wider

    world... all remaining in or coming to Oregon to seek or pursue some insistent, uncontrollable

    and potentially soul-wrecking passion.

    - CHANG-RAE LEEFood & Wine

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    HENDERSON LUELLING

    Image: Oregon Historical Society

    1847Oregon Trail pioneer Henderson Luelling

    brings his wife, eight children and several

    dozen varieties of fruit plantings from Iowa

    to the Oregon Territory, including Oregons

    first recorded grape plantings.

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    PETER BRITT

    Image: Southern Oregon Historical Society

    1854Peter Britt, a Swiss immigrant who has

    come to be known as the father of the

    Southern Oregon fruit industry, establishes

    the Northwests first winery, Valley View,

    in Jacksonville.

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1859More than 50 years after Lewis and Clark

    arrived at the Oregon Coast, Oregon

    becomes the Unions 33rd state.

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    Image: David Hill Winery, The Oregonian

    ERNEST REUTER

    OREGON TEMPERANCE WORKERS

    Early 1900sForest Grove winemaker Ernest Reuter wins silver for

    his Riesling at the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair, the first

    award given to an Oregon winemaker.

    In 1916, zealous Oregon voters pass Prohibition four

    years before it takes effect nationally. Reuters vines

    are torn out to plant fruit trees and potatoes.

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    OWNER MARY REINKE AT THE STATE FAIR, ca. 1960

    HONEYWOOD WINERY NOW PRODUCES PREMIUM VINIFERA WINES IN ADDITION TO AN EXTENSIVE

    SELECTION OF FRUIT WINES

    Image: Honeywood Winery

    1933Shortly after the U.S. Congress repeals

    the Eighteenth Amendment, John Wood

    and Ron Honeyman receive bonded

    winery status for Honeywood Winery

    in Salem, Oregons oldest continuously

    operating winery.

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1960sThe modern era of Oregon wine is born.

    Lett and Coury had been told the rain would wash them out, they would

    grow fungus between their toes, it would rot their clothes off, and there

    was no way in hell they would be able to grow great grapes up here.

    -MYRON REDFORDAmity Vineyards

    Oregon Wine: Grapes of Place

    Pictured: David Lett of The Eyrie Vineyards

    INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1961After a long dry spell following Prohibition,

    Richard Sommer launches the modern era

    of Oregon winegrowing with plantings at

    HillCrest Vineyard in the Umpqua Valley.

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1965Defying conventional wisdom, but

    convinced that Burgundian varieties were

    better suited to Oregon than California,

    UC Davis classmates David Lett and

    Charles Coury separately make their way

    to Oregon and root the first Pinot noir

    vines in the Willamette Valley.

    DAVID LETT CHRISTENS HIS FIRST PINOT NOIR PLANTINGS

    Image: Oregon Wine History Archive / The Eyrie Vineyards

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1967Back in the Umpqua Valley,

    Sommer bottles his first crop of any

    consequence, resulting in Oregons

    first vintage of Pinot noir.

    RICHARD SOMMER SAMPLES HIS 1967 PINOT NOIR

    Image: Oregon Wine History Archive

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1970sIntrepid pioneers plant roots and begin to get noticed.

    My mom always likes to say, 'There was Paris in the '20s

    and there was McMinnville in the '70s.' There was definitely

    a feeling here there was something cool afoot.

    -JASON LETTSecond-generation winemaker at The Eyrie Vineyards

    Oregon Wine: Grapes of Place

    INDUSTRY HISTORY

    Pictured: Frank Wisnovsky of Valley View Winery

    Oregon Wine Board

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    Images: Oregon Wine History Archive

    DAVID AND GINNY ADELSHEIM,

    ADELSHEIM VINEYARDS

    DICK ERATH, ERATH WINERY

    PAT AND JOE CAMPBELL,

    ELK COVE VINEYARDS

    NANCY AND DICK PONZI,

    PONZI VINEYARDS

    BILL BLOSSER AND SUSAN SOKOL BLOSSER,

    SOKOL BLOSSER WINERY

    DAVID AND DIANA LETT,

    THE EYRIE VINEYARDS

    Early 1970sThe Willamette Valley's now-famous founders were once

    intrepid explorers - the Erath, Sokol Blosser, Adelsheim,

    Campbell and Ponzi families establish their first vineyards.

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1972The Wisnovsky family revives Peter Britts

    historic property, establishing the first

    commercial vineyard and winery in

    Jackson County. The family honored

    Britts legacy by retaining the original

    name of Valley View.

    Image: Oregon Wine History Archive / Valley View Winery

    FRANK WISNOVSKY AND HIS SON MIKE WITH NEW PLANTINGS

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1973Oregon Senate Bill 100, the Land

    Conservation and Development Act,

    passes, protecting agricultural land from

    suburban sprawl.

    Thanks to forward-thinkers from the

    blossoming Oregon wine industry, hillsides

    perfect for wine grapes were included in

    the protection.

    Image: oregon.gov

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    Image: Unknown

    1975Trendy Portland restaurant LOmelette

    is the first to introduce an Oregon

    section on its wine list, curated by then-

    sommelier David Adelsheim.

    LOMELETTE OFFERED FINE FRENCH DINING IN PORTLAND

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1977Oregons winemakers join together to

    propose adoption of the strictest wine-

    labeling regulations in the country. These

    innovative regulations protect the purity

    of variety and source of wines produced

    in Oregon.

    Image: Oregon Wine History Archive

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1979Stunning results come in from the Gault-

    Millau Wine Olympiad in Paris: The Eyrie

    Vineyards 1975 South Block Reserve Pinot

    noir places in the top 10 in a blind tasting

    among the finest Burgundies.

    Image: Oregon Wine History Archive

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1980sA community grows and thrives.

    In the '80s there was a big surge of new people coming into the

    industry and they needed help and we wanted them to have help.

    We wanted things to be planted properly and them to plant the

    proper grapes. We wanted them to improve the quality because one

    flaw on a wine in the market would reflect on the whole industry.

    -DICK PONZIPonzi Vineyards

    Oregon Wine: Grapes of Place

    Pictured: clockwise from bottom left: Joe Campbell, Bill Blosser, Don Byard, Myron Redford, Dick Erath, Fred Arterberry, Fred Benoit, David Lett, David Adelsheim

    INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1980Burgundian vigneron Robert Drouhin

    sponsors a blind tasting rematch of

    the 1979 Olympiad, reconfirming the

    evaluation of The Eyrie Vineyards 1975

    Pinot noir.

    Image: Oregon Wine History Archive

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1980The inaugural Steamboat Conference takes

    place with winemakers convening to learn

    from each other, share best practices, offer

    constructive critiques and improve the

    breed of Pinot noir. This event, held in the

    Umpqua Valley, has become an annual

    tradition and celebration of Oregons spirit

    of collaboration.

    Image: Steamboat Pinot Noir Conference

    WINEMAKERS SHARE IDEAS AT A RECENT STEAMBOAT CONFERENCE

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1980Fourth-generation farmer Casey McClellan

    helps his dad plant Seven Hills Vineyard,

    one of the first commercial vineyards in the

    Walla Walla Valley.

    Image: Seven Hills Winery

    CASEY MCCLELLAN IN THE VINEYARD, 1987

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1982When Umpqua Valley vintner H. Scott

    Henry notices a rapid decline in fruit

    quality in his vineyard, he takes matters

    into his own hands and designs an

    innovative vine-trellising system to give

    grapes greater sun exposure. The Scott

    Henry Trellis System is soon adopted by

    vineyards around the world.

    Image: Oregon Wine History Archive

    SCOTT HENRY AND HIS TRELLIS SYSTEM, 2013

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1982Lonnie Wright purchases and revives

    The Pines, a century-old Zinfandel

    vineyard on the Oregon side of the

    Columbia Gorge, sparking a rebirth in

    winegrowing in that region.

    Image: The Pines 1852 Vineyard and Winery

    LONNIE WRIGHT AND HIS SON, LEE

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1983Nine Willamette Valley vintners get

    together to form the Yamhill County

    Wineries Association and open their

    winery doors for the first Thanksgiving

    Weekend in Wine Country, now a

    beloved tradition.

    Image: Oregon Wine History Archive

    FOUNDING MEMBERS OF YAMHILL COUNTY WINERIES ASSOCIATION

  • INDUSTRY HISTORYOregon Wine Board

    1983The Willamette Valley is officially on the

    map, approved as Oregons first American

    Viticultur