Focused on Oregon's Great Wine Terroirs

Willamette Valley Vineyard staffers plan to start several single-vineyard wineries
Focused on Oregon's Great Wine Terroirs
The O’Brien family's (far right) Elton Vineyard will be the first to be spotlighted by Jim Bernau's (center) Oregon Estate Vineyards. (Courtesy Andrea Johnson Photography)
May 22, 2015

Some big names in Oregon wine are launching an ambitious project, hoping to draw attention to some of the state's top vineyards. Oregon Estate Vineyards, established by Willamette Valley Vineyards founder Jim Bernau and wine director Christine Collier, aims to establish small estate wineries at highly regarded Oregon sites.

Their first effort will center on Elton Vineyard, a 60-acre site owned by Dick and Betty O’Brien in Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills. Bernau’s company has farmed the site under a long-term lease since 2007. Isabelle Meunier, who left Evening Land Vineyards last year, will make Elton’s estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay starting this year. Elton is among several vineyards she contracted with for her inaugural 2014 vintage at her new label Lavinea. The wines for both projects will be made at Carlton Winemakers Studio until a winery can be built at Elton.

“While the vineyard name has been listed on a number of Oregon's highest-rated wines, this will be the first time Elton will take center stage on the label," said Meunier. “I am excited at exploring the many facets of this great vineyard site.” She has her eye on one portion of the vineyard that has some of the oldest remaining own-rooted Pommard Clone Pinot Noir vines in Oregon.

Other Oregon Estate wineries will operate independently of Willamette Valley Vineyards with separate winemaking teams.The next winery in the works, a Willamette Valley Vineyards representative revealed, is a new 42-acre site in SeVein, a sprawling project on the Oregon side of Walla Walla Valley. Pepper Bridge, L’Ecole No. 41 and Figgins Family have already established vineyards there, and former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe owns two sites and is building a winery for his Doubleback label.

Pambrun Vineyard is named for Bernau's ancestor, Pierre Pambrun, a Walla Walla pioneer. The site will be planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties next spring. Pambrun will be sourcing fruit from other sites for the 2015 vintage.

Winery Purchases and Sales United States Oregon News

You Might Also Like

White House Spares European Wines from 100 Percent Tariffs for Now; 25 Percent Duties Remain in Place

White House Spares European Wines from 100 Percent Tariffs for Now; 25 Percent Duties Remain in Place

After reviewing the tariffs in the Airbus fight, the U.S. Trade Rep has raised duties on …

Feb 14, 2020
A New Chapter for Grand Award Winner Addison in San Diego

A New Chapter for Grand Award Winner Addison in San Diego

The restaurant sports a newly appointed wine director and a redesigned dining room. Plus, …

Feb 13, 2020
Robert Mondavi Winery Sits in the To Kalon Vineyard. Its Owner Says There's No Such Place

Robert Mondavi Winery Sits in the To Kalon Vineyard. Its Owner Says There's No Such Place

Is To Kalon a vineyard or a brand? Constellation is fighting neighbors who want to put it …

Feb 13, 2020
Spain Shines at the First Barcelona Wine Week

Spain Shines at the First Barcelona Wine Week

Hundreds of the country's best wineries came together for an ambitious new trade show

Feb 11, 2020
French Winemakers Feel the Tariff Pain

French Winemakers Feel the Tariff Pain

While U.S. wine merchants lobby to stop 100 percent tariffs on European wines, French …

Feb 10, 2020
Is Chablis Part of Burgundy? What About Beaujolais?

Is Chablis Part of Burgundy? What About Beaujolais?

A debate over appellations has some vintners angry, leading French officials to back down …

Feb 7, 2020
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search