Raptor Ridge Winery toasts 20-year anniversary
Scott Shull founded Raptor Ridge in 1995 to specialize in single vineyard Pinot Noir from some of the best sites in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Over the last 20 years, Raptor Ridge has grown from a “garage” winery where Scott and his wife, Annie, tasted with guests in their home, to a true refuge for Pinot Noir lovers looking to discover a less traveled path. The property is not only a haven for its native raptors -- winery guests are treated to a revitalizing experience complete with vineside tastings, chef inspired pairings and yoga retreats in a tranquil setting including a view of four mountaintops.
Named for its location on a ridge in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, Raptor Ridge is home to Tuscowallame, an 18-acre estate vineyard acquired in 2000, and also sources from long-term growers such as Shea, Meredith Mitchell, Temperance Hill, and Gran Moraine. In addition to Barrel Select, Estate and single vineyard Pinot Noir, the Raptor Ridge portfolio includes Pinot Gris and smaller production offerings such as Rosé, Tempranillo and Estate Grüner Veltliner.
According to Shull, “Ours is the story of a hand-grown winery, as we have personally nurtured Raptor Ridge from its infancy as a tiny home-based business to our operation today. Along the way we cleared 2000 cherry trees for our estate vineyard and tasting room, hand-grafted our own vines, and have spent countless hours on the road sharing our wines. Serving in this industry is both a joy and a privilege.”
In the future, Raptor Ridge will continue to focus on single vineyard Pinot Noir offerings from its long-term partner sites. The Shulls are also planning to increase production on a new méthode champenoise program produced from Rosé of Pinot Noir. The first release of 100 cases of the 2011 vintage, which spent three years on extended tirage, is fully allocated. The next release of the 2014 vintage, which will be on tirage until 2017, will increase production to 400 cases.
Since founding the winery, the Shulls have contributed heavily to the growth of the Oregon wine industry. Scott served as a board member of Governor Ted Kulongoski’s Brand Oregon, and is a founding director of the Oregon Wine Board and president emeritus of the Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers Association. Annie is chair of the ¡Salud! marketing committee and president emeritus of Oregon Pinot Camp, where she served as director for nine years, contributing to curriculum review and development.