Allen Methven ##Photo provided

In Memoriam: Allen Methven

Remembering the owner of Methven Family Vineyards

By Starla Pointer

Allen Methven, founder of Methven Family Vineyards near Dayton and a longtime dentist, died March 14. He was 74.

He and his wife, Jill, planted Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gamay Noir and Riesling near their home in the Eola Hills in 2002. “We are in an area that grows the most beautiful wine in the world and we wanted to be a part of it,” he told the McMinnville News-Register last year.

Methven was born Sept. 29, 1947, in Renton, Washington, a fraternal twin. He served in the Air Force and Army during the Vietnam era. After working as a military dental hygienist, he put himself through dental school.

He was a dentist in Michigan when he met his future wife, a business consultant. She admits she initially said “no” when he asked her out. But he persisted. She relented, and after a few dates, he moved to Oregon and they married.

Methven opened a practice in Dundee, one of about 17 he started over the years. He retired from dentistry last year.

He was well-loved by employees, in both his dental practice and the winery, his wife says. Heidi Moreland, general manager at the winery, describes him as “the kindest, most gentle man” with a great sense of humor. “He was a storyteller,” Moreland added. “He could spin a tale in a way that made you want to keep listening.”

When the family announced his death this week, condolences poured in from Michigan and other parts of the country, including Hawaii, where the Methvens often spent their winters.

Over the years, he was involved in many community and wine industry organizations. He traveled to Guatemala several times with Rotary groups to help with dental clinics, mentoring dental students on those trips, as well.

Jill Methven says her husband was “one of a kind” who positively impacted many lives, including those of their blended family. “He was an unpretentious, humble soul,” she said, and “a brilliant man” who loved playing host at parties.

In addition to spending time among the vines, he planted 600 blueberry plants and kept bees. He enjoyed being in the woods, fishing, hunting and traveling.
Although ill, he made his annual moose hunting trip to Nova Scotia with friends last year, along with other trips on his “bucket list,” his wife said.

A celebration of life is being planned for June.

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