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Illahe Vineyards

Illahe Vineyards

The wines of Illahe Vineyards are some of the most impressive of Oregon's up-and-coming "wineries to watch." Tasted a few weeks ago in a group of Pinots including bottles from Beaux Freres, Cameron, Evening Land and Brick House, the Illahe wines were beautiful, and their Reserve Pinot noir stood out in a very distinguished group of top Oregon wines. The Illahe estate vineyard clearly has something new and fascinating to say, and winemaker Brad Ford allows the grapes to tell it.

Illahe Vineyards is owned and operated by three generations of the Ford family. Current winemaker Brad Ford's father Lowell learned to grow grapes in the 1980's, planting his first vineyard with three acres of Muller Thurgau on his father-in-law's farm. He added Gruner Veltliner, Pinot noir and Pinot gris to his experience with plantings in 1995.

at right, vineyard dogs Logan and PowPow

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Illahe Willamette Valley Pinot noir 2012

Illahe's Willamette Valley is 100% estate grown - a rarity in sub-$20 Pinot noir. The 2012 immediately engages you with s...


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$17.95

$19.95 Regular

Illahe Vineyard Pinot Gris 2012

A stunningly good Pinot gris from one of Oregon's most promising wineries, this wine shows what the 2012 fuss is all abou...


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$14.35

$15.95 Regular

Illahe Vineyard Viognier 2012

Viognier can be delicate, elusive, an amalgam of floral, mineral, white fruit, and racy acidity. That's the unique charac...


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$14.35

$15.95 Regular

Illahe Vineyard Gruner Veltliner 2012

"GROO-ner FELT-lee-ner" is traditionally made in Austria; Lowell has been growing this obscure white grape for nearly thi...


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$14.35

$15.95 Regular

Illahe Reserve Pinot noir 2011

"I love Illahe," a serious wine geek (Andy) said to me recently. Me too.

2010 Vintage

The 2010...


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$35.96

$39.95 Regular

Illahe Vineyard Riesling 2012

Made from estate fruit some of which was planted in the seventies. Rich in candy, apple, tobacco leaf and honey flavors....


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$13.45

$14.95 Regular

Illahe Pinot noir Bon Sauvage 2011

The 2011 lives up to its name, it's wildly good. Intensely aromatic forest floor, earth, and sweet black fruit set the st...


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$26.50

$29.45 Regular

Illahe Rose of Tempranillo 2012

Ambrosia on a warm summer day, unusual choice of the Tempranillo grape is wonderful. A delicate rosé with a pale salmon co...


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$14.35

$15.95 Regular

Illahe Pinot noir Reserve 2010

2009 Vintage

A deeply spiced nose of cola, licorice and caramel leads into a big palate of black ch...


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$35.05

$38.95 Regular

More About Illahe Vineyards

Below, Brad gets ready to cultivate the vineyard with their horse-driven plow

Illahe Vineyards horse drawn cultivator

In 1999, after a decade helping to found and develop the Chemeketa Northwest Viticulture Center, Lowell purchased eighty acres of farm land in the mid-Willamette Valley. Today 52 acres are planted, including 40 of Pinot noir. Brad still makes wine from Lowell's earlier plantings and their old vine Gruner Veltliner has a cult following of winelovers who snap it up every year.

Brad Ford, Lowell's son, is Illahe's excellent winemaker, joining his father after working with Evesham Wood's Russ Raney and well known Oregon winemaker Joe Dobbes. A pivotal winetasting trip to Burgundy further inspired his winemaking style.

The new wineries that we enjoy year after year tend to be those with their own vineyards and a deep interest in its development. Illahe falls into that category. The vineyard's individuality grows with every vintage, and the owners are aware of the importance of managing it to allow the terroir's unique character to evolve and intensify.

"An excellent vineyard site and pinot noir, a fine facility, and a dedicated, kind, and talented team... this bodes well for Illahe's success." –Russ Raney, Evesham Wood

Illahe is a Chinook Jargon word meaning "earth," "land," or "soil."

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