In Memoriam: Bill Redman

Bill Redman, founder of Redman Vineyard & Winery outside of Newberg, passed away on March 19, ending his intense six-month battle with cancer. 

William James Redman was born Dec. 5, 1946 in Portland and grew up in Scappoose, graduating from Scappoose High School in 1965. In the summer of ’66, he joined the Navy as a corpsman, serving in Vietnam in 1969. On June 17, 1967, Bill married Cathy Miller of Portland; they were married 41 years. In 1978, they moved their family to Beaverton.

In February 1979, Bill joined North Pacific Group. His passion and success as a lumber trader is legendary. He was called the “King of Alder.” He recently celebrated 30 years with NorPac. 

Bill was creative; he formed BJ Inc., and it became an international venture, cutting fiddleback and curly maple for the guitar, fiddle and violin trade. Bill also had many hobbies. His favorite time in life was spent enjoying his family, camping, fishing, spending time at their homes at the coast and in Sunriver; and, of course, growing vines and making wine.

Bill and Cathy have been active in the Oregon wine community since the mid-1980s, participating in many harvests, auctions and collection of Oregon wines. It was in 2004 that they realized their dream and purchased 30 acres on Ribbon Ridge, planting 22 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Arneis. The Redmans’ first vintage was 2005, sourced from nearby vineyards. Redman Wines is a charter member in the Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers Association; Bill was on the board of directors.

Bill was diagnosed with internal melanoma stage IV in mid-September 2008. During this time, harvest was coming on fast; Scott and Annie Shull of Raptor Ridge in Carlton extended their skills and facility to process, ferment and barrel the Redman Wines vintage. They continue to be active in the development and bottling of the 2007 and 2008 vintages. David Adelsheim and Dave Paige of Adelsheim Vineyards in Newberg are graciously assisting with the future 2009 vintage, from harvest to bottle.

He is survived by his wife Cathy, his daughters Lisa Redman Zaragoza and Tami Redman-Clark and four grandchildren: Zach, Alex, Caitlyn and Connor.

A memorial for Bill was held on April 17, at the World Forestry Center in Portland. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Tuality Healthcare Foundation/¡Salud! at

Redman Wines will be open for Memorial Weekend, and will release Bill’s Blend, a blend of Pinot Noir and Barbera.

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