Thursday, November 15, 2012

Early Oregon Wine made in a German's barn

In 1860 Oregon's wine production was something like 2,600 gallons, but we're not sure how much was fruit wine as opposed to the Vitis vinifera fruit kind.

Sometime in the 1880s, two German immigrant brothersEdward and John Von Pessls ventured north from California to plant Zinfandel, Riesling, and some kind of Sauvignon in southern Oregon. When one of their German immigrant buddies, Adam Doerner, visited the Von Pessl brothers some time the 1890s, Doerner thought, "hey, I could make wine here in southern Oregon also."

So the aspiring winemaker brought some Riesling and Sauvignon (we wish he would have kept better records as to the specific varietal) cuttings from the Beringer Brothers in Napa to the Umpqua region (that's in southern Oregon for all the Rush Limbaugh fans who didn't know). And where do early Oregon winemakers make their creations, in the barn. 

Doerner's barn winery still stands, but without the wine making equipment.

You can read more about Oregon Wine history in my book, Oregon The Taste of Wine, available in bookstores and at Amazon.

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