Part 1: So, you want to plant a vineyard?


For many of us oenophiles, the dream of indulging in a glass of our own wine while gazing proudly out at a field of our own vines, remains simply that…a dream.

However, for some, this dream actually becomes a reality. Is it luck…well, maybe? However, from my own experiences, it’s more a combination of dedication, determination, patience, hard work (both physically and mentally!) and a little bit of madness thrown in for extra pizazz. My husband and I had this dream five years ago and looking back, I think to myself…what a huge rollercoaster of an experience. However, if it wasn’t for that dream, then I wouldn’t be typing this blog today!

Back in June 2014, we had just bought a beautiful home in the Dundee Hills AVA in Oregon (If you’re not familiar with the Pinot Noir from this area…well, you’re definitely missing out…go buy a bottle!!). At that time, we couldn’t afford a large sprawling piece of land, but we did managed to get a precious acre with a house on it. We had dreams and we had plans. Most of those came to fruition, but due to life’s circumstances, some of these dreams were only half fulfilled.

At the time, we knew nothing about buying vineyard land, let alone planting the vineyard. Our experience with wine consisted of a wine tasting trip in Piedmont, Italy in 2007 (pre-kids) and a few outings in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. However, we had the vineyard dream…we were possessed by it!! Our friends thought we were crazy and they probably were right. At the time, we had 4 kids under the age of 6 and another one would be greeting us in a little over a year…surprise!!

One afternoon, I was looking through Craigslist and came across a listing for free Pinot Noir vines. A local vineyard was giving them away. The new lucky owner would have to dig them out, but that’s the easy part…right? I’m laughing at this point because grapevine roots can grow several meters down, but did my husband and I know this…no!! We contacted the owners and they were thrilled because they wanted to sell all 250 vines to a single party. Several people had inquired about digging out a few here and there, but the vineyard owners preferred to get rid of them all in one go.

So, we visited their vineyard one early June afternoon. As we walked throughout their property, “The Dream” instantly hit us in the face. This couple owned 5 acres, had a small winery and a beautiful house. They were living the dream! They could sip their own wine and gaze across vines that they had planted. It could be done! My husband and I were enamored, until our 5 year old son decided to jump on a tractor, while the younger two boys began taunting each other with a discarded pitch fork and our 1 year old daughter’s screams of boredom brought us quickly back to reality. We stared at each other and should have realized in that moment the unrealistic expectations we had set for ourselves.

Did we do the logical thing and decide to simply return home and plant a small vegetable garden with pumpkins and corn?

No…we were going to plant a f%$?ing vineyard!!!