Site Selection

Our search for the ideal northern Willamette valley vineyard site began upon our return to Oregon in 1996. The search lasted for three years during which we evaluated sites as far north as the Hood river and as far south as the Umpqua river. Always we returned to the northern Yamhill - south western Washington county area.

This area had a handful of nearby vineyards and wineries demonstrating the soil and climate’s ability to produce elegant wines of the classic Burgundy type, and agricultural infrastructure to enable the development and operation of a high quality vineyard.

Cherry Grove Harvest

Our selection criterion was a property large enough to ensure multiple complementary farming activities and integration within the larger natural environment, most importantly at least 20 acres ideal for high quality wine grapes, but also the ability to support gardens, orchards and livestock. Plus the ability to operate the farm using modern equipment and sustainable agriculture methods in harmony and balance with the surrounding native ecosystem. While this sounds simple, in these days of industrial mono cultural agriculture even most small independent vineyards are surrounded by other vineyards. This is very effective for farming, but not the way grapevines have evolved. The balanced ecosystem we sought was not available, it had to be built from scratch - once the ideal site was found.

We were assisted in this search by several well known local vineyard owners and managers, plus experts in specialty disciplines especially soil and water. The vineyard was originally designed and developed by Stirling Fox of Oregon Grape Management and Stirling Wine Grapes.