The rebound in the economy, combined with the rising profile of Oregon Pinot Noir around the world, has created a hot market for vineyard properties, wineries and vineyard-suitable land.
At least 10 properties have been sold recently or are listed for sale in the Mid-Valley.
“We weathered the crash and, with the recovery, things have gotten very strong again,” said Peter Bouman, a vineyard property broker and owner of Oregon Vineyard Property.
The last time the market was this hot was in 2013, when California-based Jackson Family wines staked a claim in Oregon and purchased the Zena East and Zena Middle parcels in the Eola Hills as well as the Maple Grove Vineyard southwest of Monmoth. That followed in May of the same year with Jackson purchasing Zena West vineyard in the Eola Hills and Gran Moraine vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton district. Then, in September, Jackson added the vineyard and winery that was home to Solena Estate in Yamhill County.
In May of 2013, Precept Wine of Seattle (Washington’s second-largest winemaker) purchased Yamhela Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton area.
Following the California and Washington purchases came one from France. In August 2013, French winemaker Maison Louis Jadot announced the purchase of Resonance Vineyard in the Willamette Valley from owners Kevin and Carla Chambers.
Before 2013, the pace of outside investment in Oregon vineyard properties had been much slower.
“Californians are again moving up into Oregon,” said Pattie Bjornson, winemaker and co-owner at Björnson Vineyard. “Judy Jordan bought Eola Springs Vineyard, Larry Stone has a large planting and is building a winery on Lone Star Road NW/Hopewell Road NW, and we just sold 80 acres of our 245 acre property on Perrydale Road to a couple from California.”
As listing agent for the Eola Springs Vineyard, Bouman confirmed the sale of the vineyard to Jordan, though he would not disclose the sale price.
According to the listing, the 176-acre property in the Eola-Amity Hills American Viticultural Area (AVA) had 72 acres of producing vineyard planted with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Muscat grapes and 30 to 40 more acres that could be planted with grape vines. The property included a residence and was listed at $3.5 million.
According to SFgate.com in California, Jordan sold her Sonoma-based company J Vineyards and Winery to E & J Gallo and then purchased Chehalem Mountain Vineyard in the Willamette Valley. Chehalem Mountain Vineyard was listed at $1.25 million. According to Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers, the vineyard was established in 1968 by Oregon Pinot pioneer Dick Erath and today produce rare old-vine selections of Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
Eola Springs would be Jordan’s second Oregon vineyard purchase.
There are at least eight other vineyard properties, wineries and vineyard-suitable properties on the market in Marion and Polk counties and nearby areas.
Two of the properties are listed by Bouman’s firm: Ankeny Vineyard and Hauer of the Dauen Vineyard & Winery.
“I’m 78 years old but I’m only selling it with a 10-year life estate,” said Ankeny owner Joe Olexa. Olexa plans to continue to live on the vineyard and maintain the property for 10 years.
The Ankeny Vineyard property includes a vineyard, established tasting room and winery, and a farmhouse. It’s listed for $895,000 and the property encompasses 22.3 total acres with 15.5 of those being a vineyard.
According to Oregon Vineyard Property’s website, oregonvineyardproperty.com, the vineyard was developed in the early 1980s and offers views of the adjacent Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, Willamette River and the Coast Range.
Willamette Valley Vineyards, Vitae Springs Vineyard and Creekside Vineyard are nearby and a 20-acre vineyard bordering the property was developed by Olexa as well. It is currently owned and operated by J. Albin Winery.
Hauer of the Dauen Vineyard & Winery is listed for $3.5 million and includes a full production winery and vineyard, 154 acres of land with 80 acres planted and 10 to 12 more acres that could be planted with vines, several out buildings and a four-bedroom, two-bath residence.
Although the listing isn’t up yet, Stangeland owner Larry D. Miller has just listed his vineyard and winery with Sotheby’s International. Miller said he listed it after he tried to sell it by himself for the last six or seven months.
Miller said it was time to retire and move on. “I’m 69 years old. I’m one of the pioneers in the Eola Amity Hills,” he said. Miller planted the vineyard in 1978 on the property that his parents had owned.
“I gave up my job in Salem to do this,” he said. “I love the people and the wine community that I’ve been a part of for 41 years.”
Miller said he has some other creative ideas he’d like to pursue.
“Something that doesn’t involve the business end of a business,” he said. “Running a business is hard.”
Miller said the property includes a residence and winery and a four-acre vineyard. It will be listed at $1.65 million.
Mike McLain, owner of McLain & Associates Vineyard Properties is also handling the listing of several vineyards and vineyard-suitable acreage in the Mid-Valley.
According to McLain’s website, oregonvineyardland.com, his listings include three properties in the Mid-Valley.
One of those is in the Dallas area and is a 23-acre property with a 5-acre vineyard planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and a barn with living space. The property is listed for $425,000.
Another property is a 48-acre property near Kings Valley Highway in Dallas that has 30 acres of vineyard-suitable land and two homes and outbuildings. The property is listed at $875,000.
McLain’s third listing in the area is in South Salem, with 81 acres, nearly all of it vineyard-suitable land that’s currently in grass seed production. The parcel is just south of Salem on Jory Hill Road and is listed for $1.25 million.
Although it’s no longer his listing, McLain said there’s another parcel in South Salem just west of Interstate 5 from Willamette Valley Vineyards that is for sale, incorporating 217 acres. Portions of the parcel are vineyard-suitable land. The property had previously been listed with McLain’s company at $1.9 million.
Another vineyard property is for sale in Dallas, listed by Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere.
Beckenridge Vineyard encompasses more than 20 acres, with a 12.75 acre planted vineyard, a wedding/events facility and potential wine tasting room, and a three-bedroom three-bath home with several other out buildings. The property is listed for $1.325 million.
The Statesman Journal was unable to confirm another possible vineyard and winery that may be for sale. Attempts to reach Gwen Purdy, owner of Orchard Heights Winery, by phone and email were unsuccessful, but the winery is being shut down and has the following statement on its website:
“As many of you know, since 1996, Orchard Heights Winery has been owned by Michael and Gwen Purdy who grew up in nearby Valsetz Oregon. Our Orchard Heights family was devastated over the loss of Michael who passed away in August, 2015, losing his long fight against cancer.
Now, after 20 years of hard work and dedication, Gwen Purdy is retiring and Orchard Heights Winery will be closing its doors on Saturday, June 11, 2016. Our last Sunday Brunch will be June 5, 2016. As sad as we are to see the winery close, we are beyond happy for Gwen.
We would like to thank the community and our wonderful customers for allowing us to serve you for these many years. We would also like to say thank you to all of our past and current employees who have worked so hard to make the winery such a special place. We have made many friends and memories!” the website said.
The number of vineyards on the market matches the heightened interest in Oregon.
“The vineyard properties market in Oregon is very active and there’s quite a bit going on,” McLain said. “We’re seeing a lot of interest from a lot of different areas. From people in the East Coast, Mid-West, South, Texas, Florida, California and international, especially from Australia. The interest is from all over.”