Terrence Casteel ##Photo provided by Bethel Heights Vineyard

In Memoriam: Terrence David Casteel

Winemaker, Psychologist, Theologian

Terry Casteel, co-founder of Bethel Heights Vineyard, and a lifetime leader in the Oregon wine industry, passed away on November 30, 2023, at the age of 81, after many years of valiant struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Webb, his twin brother Ted Casteel, his sons Ben Casteel and Jon Casteel, and five grandchildren.

Terry was born August 12, 1942, in Portland to Blaine Casteel and Erma Wiggin Casteel. He graduated from Clover Park High School in Tacoma in 1960, then went on to graduate cum laude from Whitworth College in 1964. In 1967, he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and in 1975, a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington and began a psychology practice in Seattle.

In 1976, when Terry married Marilyn Webb, they began making wine in their basement as a hobby. As Terry immersed himself in the study of the science and art of growing grapes and winemaking, gradually this hobby became his true life’s passion. (It was not until many years later that Terry revealed that what he really always wanted to be was a song and dance man.)

In a leap of faith in 1977, Terry and Marilyn came to the Willamette Valley together with Terry’s twin brother Ted and Ted’s wife Pat and established Bethel Heights Vineyard, one of the earliest vineyards in the Eola Hills. In 1984, they established their estate winery. As winemaker at Bethel Heights Terry became an integral member of the famously collaborative Oregon wine community. He served on the founding Board of the International Pinot Noir Celebration, and in keeping with his commitment to social justice, Terry also provided many years of leadership and guidance for the Service Program of ¡Salud!, a non-profit organization supported by the Oregon wine industry, whose mission is to provide accessible and affordable healthcare services for vineyard stewards and their families.

In 2005, the impacts of Parkinson’s Disease forced Terry’s retirement as winemaker at Bethel Heights and the baton was passed to his son Ben. Terry and Marilyn then went on to help build a network of support for parents and families at the Parkinson’s Center at OHSU.

Terry was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Salem for all the years he lived here.

Donations in memory of Terry can be made to support Parkinson’s research at OHSU (

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