Amity Vineyards is a small family-owned winery in Yamhill County, established in 1976, 45 miles SW of Portland, above the village of Amity. Founder and Winemaker Myron Redford specializes in Pinot noir, Gamay noir, Eco-Wine (a sulfite-free Pinot noir made from Organic Grapes), Dry and Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Dry and Late Harvest Riesling, Blush of Pinot noir and Pinot blanc.
Amity Vineyards is situated 45 miles southwest of Portland atop the Amity Hills and commands a spectacular view of the Oregon Coast Range. The winery has gained a reputation, both in the U.S. and abroad, forwines of structure, complexity and excellence.
Winemaker Myron Redford moved to Oregon in 1974 with a dream for a winery that would specialize in Burgundian style Pinots. Working with up to 32 separate and distinct lots of wine, Winemaker Redford smells, tastes and blends to create two to four Pinot noir releases in a vintage. Appealing to a wide range of Pinot drinkers, they range from the "Oregon, Red Label", soft and approachable, to the "Gold Label, Winemaker's Reserve" - made only in exceptional years and designed for long aging in the tradition of Grand Cru Burgundies. As envisioned, Pinot noir has become Amity's flagship wine.
Amity is also known for dry Gewürztraminers and Rieslings as well as new varietals to the United States such as Gamay noir. The Gewürztraminers are made in the Alsatian style. Visitors from that region often comment: "I never thought I would taste a Gewürztraminer outside of Alsace that would remind me of home."
Rieslings are made in both the dry and late harvest styles. These wines consistently win Gold medals and high ratings. Amity was the first American winery to produce Gamay noir, the variety found in the wines of Beaujolais. The grapes were grown from cuttings provided to Oregon by the French Government. This wine is now in national distribution and becoming increasingly popular, especially served slightly chilled in the summer.
Amity also produces Pinot blanc and a Pinot noir called Eco-Wine. Pinot blanc is an exciting new varietal that Amity feels will be so successful that Oregon will soon join Northern Italy and Alsace as world centers for Pinot blanc. Amity introduced Eco-Wine, Oregon's first sulfite free wine made from organic grapes, in 1990. Amity's environmental commitment also includes almost 100% use of rewashed bottles; an extensive recycling program; and avoidance of almost all agricultural chemicals in its vineyard operations.
Amity Vineyards, internationally known for the uqality of its Pinot noir, released Oregon's first organically grown, sulfite free Pinot noir in 1991.
"Our first goal was to make a good Pinot noir, so we chose a vineyard with a proven track record for quality fruit that also happened to be organic," said Winemaker Myron Redford. "Our own Italian prune orchard at home is organically certified. Our desire to produce an organic wine is a natural extension of that interest." Redford continues, "I also think that people who are sensitive to or just prefer sulfite free wine should have the benefit of wine produced by a winery known for quality.
The challenge was to make a wine about whicih people say "this is a good Pinot noir", not "this is good, for a sulfite-free Pinot noir." I was convinced that with good grapes and careful cellar practices we could get a good Pinot noir in the bottle without sulfites and we did! "
The wine is well received with positive reviews in Seattle Post Ingelligencer, the Salem Statesman Journal, Oregon and Connoisseurs Guide to California Wines.
First Year Planted: 1970
Location: 45 miles southwest of Portland,
Oregon, on Hwy 99W, one mile NW of Amity, Oregon, on a south facing
saddle rising from 450-600 ft. elevation.