Second careers, a well-planned next chapter, the pursuit of our shared passion – all in some way describe our new life in Oregon. The kernels of Winderlea® were spun over milestone birthdays and anniversaries, travels to our favorite wine regions, and nightly dinners with a bottle of wine after good and not so good days at the office.In the early 90s we fell in love with Pinot noir. Its elegance and sensuality – and the beautiful way it paired with a range of foods delighted us. As we tasted through wines from across the country we found the characteristics we most loved in Oregon Pinot noir. We believe it is due in large part to Oregon’s unique climate and soils paired with the heritage of artisanal craftsmanship and an obsession with making small lots of the highest quality wine. On a practical level we found the Oregon wine community to be a collaborative one – where newcomers are welcomed, tutored and expected to perfect their craft.In 2006 we relocated from Boston and have made Dundee, Oregon our home. We are committed to continuing the traditions of responsible stewardship of the land and the highest quality artisan winemaking.Crafting elegant, sensuous and age worthy wines for those who view the pairing of wine and food essential to their lifestyle and well being is what Winderlea is all about. Our focus is on making small lots of Pinot noir and Chardonnay that show the best characteristics of each vineyard. Hand crafted with minimal intervention and the modest use of new French oak barrels, our food friendly wines are classic in style.
Veteran winemaker Robert Brittan of Brittan Vineyards is dedicated to making intense, unique, elegant and site-driven wines from his vineyard in the McMinnville AVA. Savory and character driven wines that speak of place.
“I searched for years to find the ideal site on which to grow Pinot Noir and finally found it on this 128-acre hillside in Oregon, which we purchased in December 2004. The soils are a mixture of glacial deposits and volcanic material, with a predominant presence of broken basalt. We have east, south and west exposures to choose from on a cool, windy site on the edge of the Coastal Range. As a result, I believe I have found a site where I can grow unique wines, wines that truly speak of this place.
There were 18 acres of existing vines when we purchased it. I have subsequently re-planted close to 50% of the vineyard, fine-tuning the viticultural practices and improving the clonal and rootstock combinations, which included one of the first plantings of the Swan clonal selection of Pinot Noir in Oregon. After dropping all of the crop in 2005 to allow the vines to get better established, we made our first two Pinot Noirs from the mature vines on the property from the 2006 vintage, a total of 720 cases. In the spring of 2008, I planted an additional 3.5 acres of Pinot Noir, which we expect to be in production in 2012. I have found that because of the rocky soils and low water retention, it takes five years for a vine to get into production on this site.
In addition to the Pinot, we now have 1.5 acres of Syrah planted, a varietal that I love to make and that I believe benefits greatly from a cool growing climate, provided you can get it fully mature before the winter rains.” —Robert Brittan
829 NE 5th Street, Suite 700
McMinnville, OR 97128.
For more information visit: www.brittanvineyards.com and www.winderlea.com
Owner: Robert Brittan
Designer: Cellar Ridge Construction
Project Manager: Zack Geary
Photographer: Andrea Johnson
By The Numbers
42 – Corrugated metal, sound absorbing, ceiling panels
6 – Week construction interruption due to 2014 bumper grape crop
2 – Overhead doors
1 – Former Seed processing Facility
200 – Feet from the nearest tap