Over the past year students and professors at Linfield College have chronicled the early years of the Oregon wine industry with interviews, photos, videos and artifacts. They have gone out to vineyards, sat in the kitchens of the first growers, and pieced together a story that has never been told in its entirety.
Wine experts said you couldn’t grow grapes in Oregon, and the first winegrowers in Oregon faced enormous odds in establishing what would become one of the state’s defining industries.
They pioneered green agricultural practices, in an approach that was unique for its time. They helped develop zoning laws that protected agricultural land for vineyards. And they established a unique camaraderie, sharing equipment and ideas. “The early industry was a wonderful place to be,” Myron Redford of Amity Vineyards says. “Everyone hung out together.”
The project is now on display at the Jereld R. Nicholson Library on the Linfield College campus.
Thanks to the following researchers:
Jeff Peterson, director, Linfield Center for the Northwest, sociology professor
Keni Sturgeon, adjunct professor, anthropology
Lissa Wadewitz, professor, history
Dulce Kersting ’11, history
Sara Juergensen ’11, history
Barrett Dahl ’11, anthropology