A note from Eric Lemelson
My life revolves around the Earth – I’m an earthy kinda guy, or so my closest ones have always told me. Originally an East Coaster, I got off the plane way back when to go to Reed College, and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest on Day One. Truth is, when you really experience Oregon, what’s there not to like?
After writing my Reed thesis on Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, and the Cold War, I started down a windy path, getting a degree in environmental law, and spending a lot of time exploring mountains and forests and rivers galore. One day (yes, it really happened like this!!!) I had an incredible local Pinot at a Portland hotspot restaurant and was bitten by the Pinot noir bug. It dawned on me – I could do this! And I must! After all, isn’t that how inspiration really works?
Soon after, in 1995, I planted a couple acres of Pinot noir and gris at a small hillside farm on the edge of wine country that I bought while in law school (for winery customers “in the know,” it was Chestnut Hill Vineyard). Within a few years, I was planting more acreage, designing a winery, and learning more than I ever imagined about viticulture, winemaking, building design, and much more.
From the very beginning, I was committed to organic farming, reflecting, in part, the influence of my dear Aunt Ila on my worldview. Ila, a landscape architect, accomplished organic gardener, and an intrepid soul, introduced me to Rachel Carson’s works, including Silent Spring (personal note: she died a week ago at age 85, this being February, 2019). In honor of Ila, and in service to generations to come, all of our vineyards are certified organic. We try to practice what we preach.
Today, in addition to owning and managing Lemelson Vineyards, I work as a climate policy activist in the US and the developing world, regularly traveling to the Eastern Himalaya region to connect with folks there to help them adapt to a climate that is changing before their eyes. I also work at home on energy and climate policy, sustainable forest management, and other issues. Remember – This Is Our Only Home!
Today Lemelson Vineyards owns and manages multiple sites (seven at last count, kinda insane we know, but what is life, without challenges?) in the great tradition of Burgundy. No, good readers and customers, I am NOT saying that our wines “are” Burgundian – they are pure examples of Oregon terroir! Our vineyards span three AVA’s, with numerous soil types, exposures, and elevations. All this, so that our Stellar Winemaker, Matt Wengel, has an incredibly diverse palette of flavors, textures, and aromas to create Pinot noir that sings to us, on the nose, in the mouth, and in our memories – memories of good times, those ineffable moments of glorious enjoyment, and Peak Experiences.
From the Founder – Feel the Joy!