Tales of Lemelson Vineyards
Lemelson Vineyards began as a dream — a dream to create a winery that celebrates innovation in technology, sustainability in agriculture, and tradition in winemaking. Eric Lemelson started Lemelson Vineyards with the intention of building something that would not only serve our consumers, but also the longevity of the pristine state that he calls home. Utilizing organic farming methods and gravity flow production, we craft estate grown Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Chardonnay, and Riesling from some of the finest vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Since the inaugural release of the 1999 vintage in October 2001, Lemelson Vineyards is dedicated to producing some of the world’s finest Pinot noir. Eric Lemelson fell in love with Pinot noir’s subtle flavors and distinct textures early in the 1990s. He planted his first vineyard in 1995, five years after moving to a Yamhill County farm. Two years later, realizing that he loved the work involved in growing wine grapes, he planted an additional 30 acres of Pinot noir and began planning for construction of a sophisticated, gravity-flow winery.
Lemelson’s technically sophisticated, gravity flow winery was completed in time for the 1999 harvest. The 12,000 case capacity winery was designed with the assistance of noted winemaker Eric Hamacher and Portland architect Larry Ferar. The winery is another example of Lemelson’s commitment to the environment. It was constructed using a high proportion of sustainably harvested building materials, including certified lumber from Collins Lumber, a family owned timber producer based in Oregon, and other sustainably-produced materials, including oak flooring from trees surrounding the winery and vineyards.
The facility features multiple levels to accommodate gentle, gravity-flow processes, which help preserve the unique flavor profiles produced in the vineyards. A one-of- a- kind mobile sorting platform, lovingly referred to as the ” Enterprise”, was constructed by Cornish Enterprises in Napa, CA to assist in efficient, gentle delivery of grapes into fermenters. Standing fourteen feet above the fermentation floor, the “Enterprise” mobile sorting platform can be selectively positioned over stainless steel tanks, allowing for precise sorting of the recently harvested fruit. The stunning temperature-controlled concrete caves are located in the basement of the winery and are home to the Pinot noir during an extended 14-16 months of barrel aging.
In the winery, innovation combines with centuries-old winemaking knowledge to craft a Pinot noir that is concentrated, elegant, and expressive of the site specific characteristics of the vineyard and the vintage. We believe that using only native yeasts in our Pinot Noirs allow for the purest expression of terroir.
Lemelson owns seven vineyards in the northern Willamette Valley. Maintaining a sense of place and respect for tradition, most of the vineyards are named for the family who originally farmed the acreage. All seven estate vineyards are organically certified and farmed by an in-house vineyard management company to ensure that the quality of our fruit and the integrity of the land goes uncompromised.
Our commitment to the process extends to all facets of the winery life and ensures that all living components—be they land, vine, or human—are well cared for. It’s our belief that the glass you’re enjoying at home starts before vines were ever planted. The process from planting to drinking must be nurtured at all steps. When you drink our wine, you are not only drinking an elegant expressive Oregon Pinot, you’re taking part in our journey to protect our earth for generations to come and we thank you for that.
The Family of Lemelson Vineyards