BEAVERTON, Ore. — Dan Diephouse and Jeanne Feldkamp are living their dream. They bought into the Eola-Amity Hills American Viticultural Area, or AVA, of the Willamette Valley.
They've got 57 acres to work with, with a plan to grow grapes and make Oregon sparkling wines.
“We're planting Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Pris; these are all traditional varieties that are also used in champagne that grow very well here,” said Diephouse.
The husband and wife duo founded Corollary Wines and have been making sparkling wines since 2017. Thus far they've been doing it by buying other growers’ grapes, and now they're now up to creating 1,100 cases a year.
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It will be several years before their new land will be producing grapes and a few more before the first release. But they are excited about the future.
“People love bubbles — it's fun to open and people love the taste of it, so people can't get enough of these types of wines,” said Diephouse.
As relative newcomers to the industry, Diephouse says they've learned a lot from generous Oregon grape growers and winemakers.
One thing they are certain of: this part of the Willamette Valley has the terrain and climate perfect for grape growing to go sparkling.
“The whole mission is to just explore the Willamette Valley in bubbles and to understand the relationship between the soil and the varieties, the farming techniques and the awesome wines that are coming out of the valley here," said Diephouse.
Diephouse thinks it could be 2030 before the grapes they'll be growing will produce a first release. The couple plans to build a winery and tasting room on the property as well. The tasting room could open in 2024.