Oregon's Laurel Ridge winery has moved to a new site, in Yamhill County -- leaving in its place the new David Hill Vineyards & Winery.
In the late '70s, Laurel Ridge purchased the winemaking facilities and used the 35 acres of vineyards at David Hill, in the Willamette Valley appellation. But earlier this year, owners David and Susan Teppola decided to relocate their wine production to their own farm, 20 miles south of David Hill, where they have 240 acres of vineyards.
David Teppola said the move was necessary for Laurel Ridge's growth. "We built a state-of-the-art facility, and we'll be completely consolidated," he explained. "It's a larger facility, more centrally located to wine country in Oregon."
The new Laurel Ridge winery is slated to open at the end of November or in early December, and the tasting room should be open around Thanksgiving. This year, Laurel Ridge will produce 10,000 cases primarily of sparkling wine, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. But the Teppolas hope to produce 35,000 cases -- the new winery's maximum capacity -- in six to eight years.
After the Teppolas determined that they would no longer need David Hill's winery or its vineyard, owners Milan and Jean Stoyanov decided to begin making their own wines instead of leasing their property to someone else. The old winery has been outfitted with new equipment and is capable of producing 6,000 cases a year.
"My wife and I bought the vineyard eight years ago, when I still had my day job," said Milan. "But I'm close to retirement and my golf game is kind of crummy, so we're running it ourselves."
David Hill Vineyards & Winery is now making its own line of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Port. Sale of wines from the 1998 vintage began on Labor Day weekend.
Laurel Ridge's former winemaker, Pascal Valadier, will remain with the Stoyanovs full-time to make the wines. Milan said the first vintages show promise. "While the '98s were exceptional, the '99s came very close," he said. "As a signature wine, we hope it will be our Pinot Noir. Our most prolific will be Riesling, but our proudest will be Pinot Noir."
The 1999 bottlings should be available this spring. David Hill will also offer a line called Farmhouse, priced under $10. Farmhouse Red is a blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, both from California vineyards; Farmhouse White consists of David Hillms own Riesling, SHmillion, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Gew8rztraminer.
David Hill Vineyards & Winery has a tasting room in a renovated yellow farmhouse that was built in 1883. It's open Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
David Hill Vineyards & Winery
46350 David Hill Road
Forest Grove, OR 97116
Laurel Ridge Winery
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