Founded by David Adelsheim and Ginny Adelsheim in 1971, Adelsheim Vineyard began with 15 acres of grapes and a commitment to make exceptional wines in Oregon's north Willamette Valley. Adelsheim Vineyard, a leading Oregon wine producer, is known as an innovator in sustainable, cool climate viticulture.
Their estate acreage has grown from its original 15 acres to 160 acres. A new, cutting-edge winemaking facility provides all the quality controls demanded by their 'hands-off' winemaking, utilizing a two-level, gravity-feed fermentation room for gentle grape handling, and underground barrel caves for slow, cool aging of our Pinot noir and Chardonnay.
After 30 years and many successful vintages, the dreams of one of Oregon's wine pioneers have been realized. More importantly, Adelsheim Vineyard has people with the vision, skills and energy to carry them upward in their quest to produce ever more complex Pinot noirs and elegant white wines.
1971, Adelsheim Vineyard was founded
On a beautiful June day in 1971, David Adelsheim and Ginny Adelsheim stood above an open field and were taken with the beauty of its orange and purple wildflowers.
Five hundred feet below, Oregon's north Willamette Valley stretched out in a patchwork of orchards, pasture and native trees. The field, rich with clay-loam soil, had a gentle southern exposure and was sheltered by the Chehalem Mountains. The Adelsheims had dreamed of planting a vineyard in the area since returning from a summer in Europe, where they were inspired by the hand-made foods and wines they encountered.
1972, planting began
In 1972, the Adelsheims began planting their original 15-acre vineyard at Quarter Mile Lane with Pinot noir, Chardonnnay, Pinot gris, and Riesling.
Relying on family and friends for assistance, they battled weeds, mildew, birds and deer -- and the widely perceived futility of growing wine grapes in northern Oregon's cooler climate.
1978, first commercial release of 1,300 cases
Working in a cramped basement winery with a simple crusher and press, and 20 Burgundy barrels, David Adelsheim made the first 1,300 cases of wine for commercial release in 1978: tiny quantities of Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Riesling from the estate vineyard were produced, along with Semillon and Merlot from purchased grapes. As the Quarter Mile Lane vineyard matured to full yield and grapes were purchased from other growers, annual production doubled every two years.
1982, a new winery
As Adelsheim Vineyard continued to grow, the need for a new production facility became critical. A 6000 square-foot winery adjacent to the Adelsheim's home was built in 1982. Barrels, tanks, a bottling line and still more barrels were added until the new winery was also filled to capacity.
1989, first vineyard expansion
The winery's first vineyard expansion was in 1989, when they leased a 19-acre site across the road from the original estate vineyard at Quarter Mile Lane. Today, Bryan Creek Vineyard is an important source of Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and Pinot blanc.
They also purchased a 52-acre site at a lower elevation in the Chehalem Valley. Planted with Pinot gris and Burgundian clones of Pinot noir and Chardonnnay, the Calkins Lane Vineyard is also home to the new Adelsheim Vineyard winery.
1994, co-owners join Adelsheim Vineyard
Co-owners Jack and Lynn Loacker joined Adelsheim Vineyard in 1994, and began planting Ribbon Springs Vineyard in 1995. This exceptional 120-acre site on the Ribbon Ridge spur of the Chehalem Mountains has provided Pinot noir and Pinot gris grapes since 1998. 2002, the vision continues ...
Today, Oregon has been recognized as one of the New World's leading wine producing regions. At Adelsheim Vineyard, they continue the experimentation and systematic study that have established their reputation as a leader and innovator in cool climate viticulture. With a dedicated staff, exceptional vineyards and a cutting-edge winery, they continue the quest to produce world-class Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc.
The People at Adelsheim
David Adelsheim founded Adelsheim Vineyard in 1971, and as the original winemaker established Adelsheim's focus on elegant white wines and complex, Single-Vineyard Pinot noirs. Now as President, he is responsible for the company overall, with special focus on marketing and sales. David Adelsheim is also involved in grape and wine research, and in industry education.
Ginny Adelsheim co-founded Adelsheim Vineyard in 1971. She is the artist responsible for their acclaimed series of label drawings, and for the winery's terra-cotta ornamentation. As co-owner, Ginny Adelsheim is partly responsible for Adelsheim Vineyard's long-term, strategic planning.
Jack and Lynn Loacker joined Adelsheim Vineyard as co-owners in 1994, bringing legal, business and strategic planning expertise, and a vision of producing wines of exceptional quality. Longtime wine enthusiasts, Jack and Lynn began planting Ribbon Springs Vineyard in 1995; this 120-acre site on Ribbon Ridge has provided Pinot noir and Pinot gris grapes since 1998.
Dave Paige joined Adelsheim Vineyard as Winemaker in September, 2001, after making Pinot noir at three different California wineries for 12 years. He brings many new ideas for winemaking techniques and equipment. Dave's goal is to bring richness and impeccable balance to Adelsheim wines, while maintaining the ageability for which Adelsheim Vineyard's wines have always been known.
Photos of AdelsheimDavid & Ginny in the vineyard, 1978
New Vineyard 1978
White objects are milk cartons, used to shelter baby vines
Ribbon Springs Vineyard