About Us


Our Philosophy


 

Our PhilosophyWe believe in producing high quality fruit in harmony with the environment on our 25 acre, dry farmed and hand tended vineyard.  We live and work here and we produce much of our own food here, not to mention the wine to accompany it.

It is of paramount importance to us to do nothing that will harm the environment, the products we consume or the wine grapes we sell to our winery customers.  To help guide us in this mission, we signed up with the Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE) program( http://liveinc.org ).  Walnut Ridge Vineyard is certified sustainable by LIVE and has been awarded the Salmon Safe designation since 2005.  What does this mean?  First, it means we don’t try to dominate nature but rather work with it to maintain an equilibrium that provides room for wildlife, native plants, abundant insect populations and quality wine grapes.  When you look at our vineyard, you don’t see a manicured, monoculture landscape.  You see a vineyard alive with flowering native plant species, beneficial insects keeping less desirable insects in check, birds and bats, cats and mice.  We have planted our vineyard on grafted rootstock.  By using a native American grapevine for the rootstock, our vines are naturally resistant to Phylloxera, an insect found worldwide that damages and kills wine grape vines.  We try to keep everything in balance and prevent any one species from dominating.  Second, we expect to have some crop losses.  We just plant a little more so there is enough for all.  We do have our vineyard surrounded with a deer fence to limit our risk of deer damage, but we also maintain undeveloped spaces where deer are free to roam.  A final point is our business philosophy.  As with our agriculture we believe in a sustainable business model.  We need to charge more than we spend but we don’t need to sign up for the elusive target of maximizing profit or shareholder wealth.  We strive to provide a high quality, high value product that we are proud to have produced and for which the price we charge is fair.  What we lose in business profit, we make up in “lifestyle dividends”.

Our History


Our HistoryWe began our search for the perfect Oregon vineyard property in 1997 after a visit to the Willamette Valley.  The search continued for almost 2 years, during which time we spent every spare weekend searching the back roads of the Willamette Valley.  We started looking near Portland but soon our explorations took us further South in the Willamette Valley.  We weren’t focused on and even resisted locations with high traffic and intense development.  We were in search of superb pinot noir country coupled with a slower paced environment.  We found the perfect place for us in the coast foothills just west of Junction City, Oregon.  It’s a relatively small area with a concentration of exceptional vineyards.  The sites tend to be slightly warmer and their hillside locations help to protect them from damaging frosts.

We purchased the property in 2000 and we have been on a mission of learning, improving and developing since that time.  We have expanded the acres devoted to grapes from approximately 10 to 25 acres.  We consolidated the varieties in the originally planted acres by grafting the vines to varieties proven to be superior performers in Oregon.  We acquired equipment, built buildings and battled non-native invasive species.  We have honed our viticultural practices, have become LIVE certified and have developed our vineyard management skills.  And we’ve developed excellent relationships with our many winery customers.  It’s been a lot of work but it has also been very satisfying to see what we’ve been able to accomplish.  We started with a dream and it now feels like we’re in heaven.  We thank you for the opportunity to share this with you through our grapes and wines.

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