Tualatin Winery is One of America’s Leading Pinot Noir Producer
Nestled in the coastal rain shadows of Forest Grove and surrounded by Oregon’s breathtaking vineyards, Tualatin Estate is owned and operated by Willamette Valley Vineyards since 1997. The name ‘Tualatin’ is given by the native people, meaning ‘gentle and easy flowing’ like the Tualatin River. It is the only wine estate that has won the ‘Best of Show’ for red and white wines at the London International Wine Competition.
Story of an Attorney-Turned-Winemaker – Jim Bernau
The origin of Tualatin Winery has a fascinating tale attached to it. Richard Sommer, a California-based winemaker, arrived at the small town of Roseburg to find himself an attorney to protect his winery’s license. He hired Jim Bernau’s father. Jim’s dad used to have dinner with Richard, where he was served with Richard’s wines, lightning a path that guided Jim to be a winemaker. Even at the age of 10, he fermented frozen grapes that his mother kept in the freezer, directed by the family’s winemaking encyclopedias.
His visions came into reality in 1983 when he cleared an old plum orchard in the Salem Hills, where he planted his first Pinot Noir. He faced many hardships in his early years. Later he collaborated with Bill Fuller of Tualatin Vineyards, the O’Briens of Elton Vineyards, and Loeza Vineyard. Today, he produces high-quality red, white, rose, and sparkling wines with respect to nature.
Three Vineyard Sites Meticulously Planted with High-End Grapes
Tualatin Estate makes wines from the grapes planted on three well-known vineyard sites, namely Willamette Valley Vineyards, Tualatin Estate Vineyard, and Elton Vineyard. Pinot Noir being the flagship varietal, the majority of the vineyards are cultivated with Dijon Clones (Pinot Noir Clones). Some of the other grape varieties of the estate include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Muscat, and Grun Veltliner. Additionally, a small area is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Viognier.