Ribbon Ridge Vineyard TimelineLearn more about how our winery got its start, and how it has grown.
From purchasing the property in 1978 to where we are today, there are too many milestones to list. But here are some of the more significant ones.
Dewey and Robin purchase the 42-acre site in the Ribbon Ridge area with the intention of planting a vineyard. Later that year, in the pouring rain, Robin and Dewey get married at the site, on the hill we now call the Wedding Block.
After 23 years of nurturing the dream while balancing careers and family, the nine-acre vineyard is finally planted in 2001.
Reality check. Working four days a week for three months, Robin, daughter Melissa and friends prune the 13,000 fledgling Pinot Noir plants in the vineyard.
That same year, Dewey and friends purchase a few tons of grapes, set up a makeshift winery in a friend’s barn and make their first, and only, garage wine. Affectionately referred to as the “doesn’t suck yet” project.
Third leaf of the vineyard. Time to make wine. We secure a place to make wine at Carlton Winemakers’ Studio. There, we are very fortunate to have the expert advice of the many experienced and friendly resident winemakers.
Now in its fifth leaf, the vineyard is in full production. As the vines start penetrating the Ribbon Ridge sandstone, the fruit starts to reveal the characteristics that will distinguish future vintages. Our favorite wines to date.
Granddaughter Haley’s first harvests. She can barely reach the clusters, but that doesn’t stop her from evaluating the quality of the fruit.
Our daughter, Melissa gets married and, of course, requests a special wine for the wedding. We commemorate the occassion with Cuveé M, a field blend of seven white Alsatian varieties.
The Estate Pinot Noir from the stellar 2008 vintage garners our first 93 point rating from Wine Spectator.
First year making wine in Portland at Boedecker Cellars. A late frost nearly destroyed our crop but ended up being one of our better years. Our estate received 92 points and our single-clone Pommard 93 points in a year we weren’t sure we’d be able to make any wine. That’s farming in Oregon.
A stellar year– one of those years when everything aligns in the vineyard and the winery
The complete opposite of 2012. Remnants of an Asian typhoon washed through Oregon just before harvest. Like prior cool vintages 2007 and 2010, the 2013 was reminiscent of the classic, elegant Pinot Noirs from the 70s and 80s that established Oregon as a world-class region.
Another near perfect vintage and the first of a string of warm vintages. The quality was as uniformly excellent as we’ve seen to date.
We moved from Boedecker Cellars in Portland to Scott Paul Wines in Carlton, where we had a little more room to spread out. And the timing was perfect. This was a prolific year that allowed us to make four different Pinot Noirs plus a Pinot Noir Rosé. And they all rock.
Dewey finally retires from his day job and is able to give Ribbon Ridge Vineyard his full attention. Or at least a greater share of it. We took 42 years to get here but this is what we had in mind all those years ago.
And here we are. This stroll down memory lane gives you a taste of the passion and dedication we’ve put into the vineyard and wines. Now you need to taste the results to see for yourself.