S2, Episode 9: Dion Vineyards, and Bradley Vineyards
July 17, 2019
Second Sundays 4 pm~ Thanks to Country Financial! To solve the big challenges of tomorrow, start with simple steps today. ~
This episode I’ll unveil the stories of two family-owned and operated wineries. The first, Beth from Dion Vineyard, maintains a small annual production as part of their commitment to offer the highest quality wines at exceptional values; and the second with Tyler from Bradley Vineyards, is the largest grape producer in the Elkton Oregon AVA, whose core belief is that Oregon wineries should aim to be Old World in the New World.
Just outside of greater Portland, off the Hillsboro Highway 219, nestled in the Chehalem Mountains of the northern Willamette Valley, is Dion’s 60-acre vineyard dating back to 1976 and their small winery and tasting room. Their family-owned and operated enterprise maintains an intentionally small annual production as part of their commitment to offer the highest quality wines at exceptional values.
Winemaker Kevin Johnson, founded the winery in 2007 and carries on third-generation winegrowing traditions. His grandfather began the legacy by growing grapes and producing wines near Sunnyside, Washington. For over 45 years, Kevin and his family have been growing wine grapes in their little slice of beautiful Oregon, just outside the city.
Their production includes primarily Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. They also offer in limited quantities: Sparkling Wines, Tempranillo, Rose, Viognier, and Chardonnay. Kevin and his wife Beth Klingner handcraft around 1000 cases per year. They still provide premium wine grapes to other Willamette Valley wineries from their 60 acres.
Bradley Vineyards was founded in 1983 by brothers John and Richard Bradley. With the helping hands of family and friends, nearly 30 acres of Pinot Noir, Gewurtztraminer and Riesling grapes were planted in the South and West facing hills of Elkton, Oregon.
For the first 17 years, John developed as a viticulturist, and sold the entirety of his crop to wineries around the state of Oregon. But when friends Mike and Vonnie Landt moved to town and built their winery, River’s Edge, a partnership began allowing John to start producing a small amount of wine under the Bradley Vineyards label.
In the early 2000s, John expanded the vineyard by planting a small block of Baco Noir grapes, as well as grafting Baco Noir onto a portion of mature Gewurtztraminer vines. He also introduced a small block of Pommard, a clone of Pinot Noir. After John’s untimely passing in 2014, the Vineyards continue to thrive under the leadership of his wife, Bonnie. Their son, Tyler cares for the vineyard and makes the wines at the River’s Edge Winery facilities on the west end of Elkton.