Top Stories of 2015

Half-Century Celebration

The Eyrie Vineyards Honors 50 Years

On Feb. 22, 2015, an historic wine event took place at the Portland Art Museum as 250 people from around the world gathered to toast the late David Lett, his family and their five decades of winemaking at The Eyrie Vineyards.

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Rock-Solid AVA

Oregon’s newest wine region approved

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) established The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater as the newest American Viticultural Area (AVA) on Feb. 9.

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Year of the Local Author

 “Chiseled” by Danuta Pfeiffer, Pfeiffer Vineyards

“Dirt + Vine = Wine” by Kerry McDaniel Boenisch

“Letting Go” by Susan Sokol Blosser, Sokol Blosser Winery

“The Man Who Wasn’t There” by Judy Nedry, Chehalem Wines


2015 Grand Openings

Bells Up Winery

27895 N.E. Bell Road, Newberg

The appointment-only tasting room inside a former pole barn boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with a southern exposure with views of Newberg and far beyond. Read more:

Naumes Crush & Fermentation

1311 N. Central Avenue, Medford

Southern Oregon’s newest facility provides full-service winemaking, lab analysis, cold storage and support services to growers and wineries throughout the region. Read more:

KAOS:  The Barberry & 1882 Grille

645 N.E. Third Street, McMinnville

A multi-story mix of fine food, local wine and al fresco dining throughout. Read more:

Domaine Divio

16435 N.E. Lewis Rogers Lane, Newberg

The relaxed new tasting room sits on the winemaker’s 23-acre property and was designed to blend with the natural landscape. Read more:

Urban Crush

2025 S.E. Seventh Avenue, Portland

Angel Vine’s new production facility has plans to become a neighborhood destination for tasting and discovering wine. Read more:

Argyle Winery

691 Highway 99W, Dundee

The winery forever known for its bubbles and charming Dundee farmhouse has reinvented its “tasting house” experience. Read more:

Grochau Cellars

9360 S.E. Eola Hills Road, Amity

The new tasting room showcases the winery’s hand-crafted, quality Pinots and Old World varietals in a rustic-modern space.

McMenamins 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop

2290 N.W. Thurman Street, Portland

A new shop featuring 800 bottles for your choosing, beer, ciders, spirits, wine and sparkling included.

Holloran Vineyard Wines

8795 Worden Hill Road, Dundee

The winery completed construction of its new production facility at ANA Vineyard.

Cellar 503

A new wine club featuring unique, high quality, affordable wines that represent the full range of great Oregon wine.

Archiving Oregon

Linfield captures story of wine industry

When Linfield College founded the Oregon Wine History Archive (OWHA) in 2011, the scope of the project was unspecified. Linfield — in McMinnville, the heart of the Willamette Valley wine region — had forged connections with some of the area’s wine pioneers, and their collections were the catalyst to begin the archive.

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International Pursuits

Burgundy Bound

Ken and Grace Evenstad, founders of Oregon’s Domaine Serene, have purchased Château de la Crée, a Burgundy wine estate featuring vineyard property spanning seven appellations in Côte d’Or: Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Santenay and Maranges. The vineyards are planted both to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; several are designated Premier Cru; two are unique Monopoles.

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Set on Spain

Paul O’ Brien Winery has announced a partnership with Abadía de Acón Winery of Burgos, Spain, to produce a proprietary wine in the Ribera del Duero region, the first venture of its type in the U.S.

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In Memoriam

Cole Danehower (1954–2015)

Cole Danehower was an award-winning writer and much-respected industry advocate. His influential writing increased the profile of Pacific Northwest wine here and abroad.

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Mary J. Reinke  (1921–2015)

Born in The Dalles, Mary (née Re) Reinke joined Honeywood Winery in Salem in 1943 as a secretary. She beccame the office manager in 1947, president in 1963 and, finally, owner in 1964. Mary sold the winery in 1974. Among many other accomplishments, she pushed through legislation for wine tasting and wine tasting rooms.

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Michael Purdy (1954–2015)

Dr. Michael Purdy, owner of Orchard Heights Vineyard & Winery, moved from Oregon to Hawaii in 1983 to practice dentistry but is best remembered in the Aloha State for his candy company, Island Princess.

He and his wife, Gwen, purchased Orchard Heights in 1996. The winery became known for its award-winning brunch, served most Sundays at the Salem tasting room.

Gene Wizer (1938–2015)

Gene Wizer started working in his father’s store at age 7. His dad, Jim, son of Lebanese immigrants and a former Montana mine worker, started Wizer’s Market in Portland in 1929. They moved the grocery to Lake Oswego in 1948, opening the town’s first supermarket.

A devoted second-generation owner, Gene was the store’s longtime wine steward until May 1989, with the hire of wine steward Tom Reider.

While the market closed in 2013, the name and its well-regarded wine selection lives on as Wizer’s Fine Wines, still located in Lake Oswego.

Long Live Maddi

Collaboration in memory of daughter

On June 8, 2014, Carrie Higgins, owner of Crush Creative Packaging in Lake Oswego, received devastating news: Her teenage daughter, Madison “Maddi” Higgins, was in a serious car accident with her friend, Hayden Soyk, age 18. He was taken off life support the same day; Maddi, age 17, died the following day.

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And the Award Goes to…

Oregon State University

Dai Crisp (Lumos Wine Co.) was inducted into the Agricultural Sciences Hall of Fame at OSU on Oct. 22. Nominees are chosen based on their commitment to the welfare of Oregon’s agriculture, natural resources, related industries and communities.

Southern Oregon Wine Institute

For his contributions to education and industry, Scott Henry (Henry Estate) was honored June 3 at the dedication of the Scott Henry Vineyard at SOWI on the Umpqua Community College campus.

Northwest Wine Studies Center

At this year’s open house at Chemeketa Community College’s Northwest Wine Studies Center on May 21, three industry members were honored: Lowell Ford (Illahe Vineyards) was recognized with the Legacy Builder Award; Pattie Björnson (Björnson Vineyard) was awarded the Emerging Leader Award; and Rebecca Moore (Monks Gate) was chosen as the “Student of the Year.”

¡Salud! Pinot Noir Auction

Pat and Joe Campbell (Elk Cove) were honored as the 2015 Legacy Winemakers at the 2015 ¡Salud! Pinot Noir Auction, Nov. 13–14, hosted at Ponzi Vineyards and The Allison Inn.

Oregon Wine Board

At the 2015 Oregon Wine Symposium in late February, Jim and Loie Maresh (Maresh Red Hills Vineyard) received the Founders Award; the Lifetime Achievement was presented to Earl and Hilda Jones (Abacela); and the Outstanding Industry Service Award went to Chad Vargas (Adelsheim).

Oregon Wine A-List

Renamed the Oregon Wine A-List Awards, the program announced the 2015 winners at the Oregon Wine Industry Awards Dinner at the Oregon Wine Symposium. Restaurant of the Year was presented to Chris Czarnecki of the The Joel Palmer House in Dayton; Wine Director of the Year was awarded to Andy Zalman of Higgins Restaurant in Portland. A-List Regional Stars included: The Painted Lady (Willamette Valley); Larks and Alchemy (Southern Oregon); The Farm Café and Urban Farmer (Portland); Restaurant Beck (Coast); Timberline Lodge (Gorge); Artist Point (National); and Norda Bar & Grill (International).

LIVE Certified

At LIVE’s annual meeting on April 7, two awards were presented. Bill Wendover (Stonefield Vineyard) was given the Vineyard Excellence in Sustainability Award. Kevin Green (Apolloni Vineyards) earned the Winery Excellence in Sustainability Award.

Straight Up Stats

Latest numbers report incredible gains

Oregon winemakers are nearly finished bringing in what they predict will be another record-shattering harvest, which is saying something — because the 2014 production numbers are extraordinary.

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