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Willamette Valley Vineyards Inc. (WVVI) is Experiencing the Fruit of the Vine

It all began for Willamette Valley Vineyards Inc. when founder, Jim Bernau, purchased his estate site for the company in 1983. He cleared away an old pioneer plum orchard and planted Pinot Noir (Pommard and Wadenswil clones), Chardonnay (Dijon and Espiguette) and Pinot Gris. He even hand-watered the vines with thousands of feet of hose. It all paid off because today, Willamette Valley Vineyards is Oregon’s leading producer of Pinot Noir.

Headquartered in Turner, Oregon, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Inc. engages in the production and sale of wines in the United States. Trading on the NASDAQ with a current market capitalization of $23.22M, they offer wines under Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Oregon Blossom brand names. They also offer them under the Oregon’s Nog, Edelweiss, Semi-Sparkling Muscat, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, The Griffin, and Viognier brand names.

The company hand-grows high-quality fruit using careful canopy management. They ferment and barrel each vineyard lot separately and save the best barrels for single vineyard bottling and Signature Cuvée. Their expertise and efforts have earned them the title “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers,” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Their estate vineyard is on an old west-to-southwest facing volcanic flow south of Salem, Oregon. It rises from 500-750 feet in elevation with seven to twelve degree slopes tilted toward the sun. This means their vines get excellent air drainage and are above the frost line. The Estate vineyard has fifty acres of vines planted with the first Dijon clones grafted in 1993. It is primarily Pinot Noir Dijon clones 667, 777, Pommard and Wadenswil. In addition, part of it is Pinot Gris and Dijon Clone Chardonnay 76 and 96.

Overall, Willamette Valley Vineyards Inc. owns, leases, or contracts for 587 acres of vineyards. They market and sell their wines through direct sales at their winery, directly and indirectly through their shareholders, and through self-distribution to local restaurants and retail outlets in Oregon. They also sell directly via mailing lists, and through distributors and wine brokers outside Oregon.

The many classes and seminars from the U.S to France that Jim Bernau took definitely honed his viticulture expertise. In 1989, he built his world-class winery in the Willamette Valley and began making cool-climate wines like his Pinot Noir. Today, Willamette Valley Vineyards Inc. and their shareholders are reaping the fruit of his labors and entrepreneurship. The proof is in the quantities of their wine served and sold in the best restaurants and shops in the world.

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