The Stoller family estate found its roots in 1943 with the vineyard coming fifty years later. Currently, the property is the largest vineyard in Dundee Hills, Oregon.
The family is proud of the fact that the Stoller winery was the very first to receive a LEED Gold certification, which is impressive because it means that not only is the winery sustainable, but it is also environmentally friendly.
The Story Behind the Farm
The farm was purchased by the Stoller family in the early 1940s with an entirely different purpose in mind. They wanted to use the land in raising turkeys, which successfully grew into quite an operation over the next fifty years.
It wasn’t until 1993 that Bill Stoller acquired the land for himself and realized the potential behind the naturally rocky and well-draining countryside. He knew it was an excellent place to plant grapes for what would eventually become the Stoller winery.
By 1995, Bill had planted 10 acres of various grapes, and the land did indeed prove to be perfect for grapes. He had successfully grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. From there, the winery was born.
Currently, Stoller grows Pinot Gris, Tempranillo, Riesling, Syrah, as well as Pinot Blanc grapes in addition to their original signature Chardonnay and Pinot Noir plantings.
All About the Beautiful Vineyards
The Stoller family estate covers 373 acres of which 215 are dedicated to the vineyard. The property is entirely sustainable and uses responsible practices to continuously strive for innovation in the wine industry.
The vineyard collects water runoff in a dedicated reservoir that holds approximately 10 million gallons of water. Stoller also embraces solar technology, a recycling tunnel sprayer, as well as irrigation sourced by a rain pond.
As far as pest control goes, Stoller has learned to work with the native habitats of the natural predators. The predators keep the pests in check, so Stoller has learned to live in harmony with the existing environment.
The Yearly Process in the Stoller Vineyard
All vines are pruned by hand during the late winter season. They work to select the best vines as well as the spurs that will become the next year’s vines.
In mid-spring, the vines begin to bud. This is a particularly delicate stage, and frost could kill the crop should it get cold enough for that.
Towards the end of spring, the vines begin to flower. While the growth is much sturdier, the vines are still at the mercy of nature as strong storms could destroy crops before they have the change to pollinate.
Once Stoller hits the summer months, they begin to trellis the vines to improve sunlight reach and increase airflow to the grapes. By trellising the grapes, they can ward off mold and fungus, too, keeping the crops in top shape.
Later on, during the summer, the Stoller winery works to thin the fruit which means reducing the crop load. This is a good thing because the crops can better use the available resources to produce better grapes.
Towards the end of summer, the grapes will change color as they begin to ripen. Around this time, the harvest time can also be better predicted as it is usually within a month of the grapes beginning to change color.
In the fall, it is time for the harvest. Harvesting is determined by checking things like pH and acidity of the grapes to ensure they will be ready. The grapes are manually harvested and put into buckets which are then taken to the winery.
The Elegance of the Winemaking Process
Once the grapes have been harvested, the grapes will go through a sorting line where unwanted materials are removed. The grapes are then kept at a cool temperature for about a week and a half.
By using this process, the grapes are given a chance to develop the right colors and flavors before alcohol production begins. After they have sat for a time, fermentation begins, and it typically takes up to a week.
Once the fermentation process is complete, the wine goes into barrels in the Stoller winery cellars. Chardonnays age for at least ten months in French oak barrels.
At the end, the wine is blended and prepared for bottling. In the case of Pinot Noir, once bottling has taken place, the wine is aged for a full year before being released to the public.
You Can Visit the Stoller Winery Today
Stoller encourages visitations to the winery. They have a tasting room available to visitors on a daily basis. They even have different experiences available depending on your tastes. If you find yourself in Oregon, take some time and visit Stoller. They’d love to have you.