Following a long and exciting career in the global construction industry we left our home in San Diego, California in 2008 to begin our encore careers in beautiful Cheshire, Oregon. With enthusiasm and perseverance, we planted our vineyard and learned about winemaking from our expert neighbors in the picturesque Willamette Valley.
We were drawn to the beauty and fragility of the Pinot Noir grape and we began a search for an appropriate piece of land with a vineyard consultant. Bennett Vineyards was born! Our 85-acre farm in the South Willamette Valley has proved ideal for growing Pinot. Our beautiful estate features a pond and Bear Creek, which runs diagonally through the property. We have partnered with local conservation groups to work on creek restoration.
After successfully raising avocados in California. transitioning to a vineyard meant Gene had to master tractor handling, plowing and other farming skills – not that he complained! The purchase of his first tractor is a day he won’t soon forget. The farm has also given Lisa a chance to indulge in her love of animals. Our two Labradors, Finn and Bo, enjoy running through the vineyard, splashing in the pond and chasing the chickens that roam the property, along with ducks, farm cats and native birds.
After years of carefully nurturing each vine, enduring long days of planting, staking, weeding, pruning, tending vines and tackling predators, we are quite literally enjoying the fruits of our labor.
We decided to stick with Pinot Noir exclusively to start, wanting to focus on making exceptional red wines styled after France’s great Burgundy wines. Local research led us to plant three useful Pinot Noir varieties (clones) – Pommard, 115 and 777. These clones can be used individually or blended to create a classic Pinot Noir.
Our focus is on creating artisanal Pinot Noirs. All of our Pinot Noirs are made exclusively with Estate-grown grapes. Our wines are custom crushed, made in limited quantities, presented only at our tasting room.
From grapes to bottle, our wines are lovingly crafted. Fruit is hand picked so berries are not bruised, crushed the same day, aged in carefully selected French oak barrels, and bottled at just the right moment.
Our 2012 Pinot Noirs are still available and they are definitely better with age! We are down to the last cases of our popular full-bodied 2012 Pommard Select, and the complex 2012 Lucky 7’s has come into its own. We look forward to sharing our wine with you.
Gene & Lisa