Following a long and exciting career in the global construction industry we left our home in San Diego, California to begin our encore careers in beautiful Cheshire, Oregon. What we lacked in vineyard and winemaking experience we have more than made up for with enthusiasm, research, advice from our wine expert neighbors and a lot of hard work.
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 Bear Creek, and getting low on the full-bodied Pommard. The complex Lucky 7's has come into its own. We have released our 2013 Pinot Noirs as well, most recently the Reserve. We look forward to sharing our wine with you.
Gene & Lisa