Calamity Hill Vineyard & Farm
There is no entry in Guinness World’s Records for “the smallest legal producer of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in Oregon” but if there were, we are fairly confident it would name Calamity Hill Vineyard and Farm. We didn’t set out to be the smallest. We were limited by the amount of land we have, but we could have planted 3+ acres of vines. There are many vineyards of that size or less. We just decided we wanted to plant what we knew we could handle. As it turns out, the economies of scale are not great so profiting from our wines requires that we do as much of the work as possible. This also means we take special care at every point in the growing, the winemaking, and the storage and care of the wine after it is in bottle. We think that vintners who handcraft wines from fruit grown on small vineyards have the opportunity to make the finest wines on earth. We hope that you agree and will try our “Oregon’s Smallest” wines. No one yet has convinced us that we will grow better grapes or make better wine if we focus on increasing production. Look for Calamity Hill Vineyard and Farm to produce fewer than 150 cases of fine wine each vintage.
- Calamity Hill is among the smallest vineyards producing wine for sale in Oregon.
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We wanted to be good stewards of our land and use it for something to which it was well suited. As we explored the area and studied the land, we learned that we were fortunate enough to have deep Jory soil, renowned for growing some of Oregon’s finest wine grapes, especially Pinot Noir. The thought of planting a vineyard started to take shape.
Had you asked us prior to 2004 if we would end up in Oregon’s premier wine region growing grapes and making Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, we would have wondered what was in your water. If you ask us today if we like what we are doing, you better have a half hour to spare because that will just get us warmed to the topic.
We are truly blessed to have found such a wonderful place and both think we must have been closet farmers all along just waiting for this opportunity.
We have learned that farming is hard work. Hard and very rewarding! Our summers are warm and dry and beautiful. The evenings are long and lovely. We can work in the Vineyard past nine in the evening if we choose or sit outside enjoying the fruits of our labor.
We have also learned that much of the year here in Oregon farm work is muddy work. After the first few years we realized that we needed to become good at “mud management”. This includes cover crops, gravel walkways, stepping stones, and a paved driveway.
We have learned that people here in Oregon are friendly and helpful folk. They give advice freely, they help out willingly, and have accepted us with warmth and friendship.
Our neighbors deserve a special thanks. They have taught us so much and are always willing to lend a hand. And, our friends in the wine industry have been kind and welcoming beyond compare.