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Corollary unveils plans to become Oregon’s first exclusively sparkling wine production estate

Willamette Valley newcomers Dan Diephouse and Jeanne Feldkamp of Corollary Wines have purchased 23 hectares of unplanted land to serve as a ‘living laboratory’ for sparkling viticultural exploration. 

The new Eola-Amity site will break ground in the spring of 2023, with about 8 plantable hectares between 180 and 230 metres in elevation. In addition to the elevation, the property sits right in the path of the Van Duzer Corridor. The gap in the Oregon Coast Range allows a flood of cool pacific air, which tempers the warm summer heat each afternoon – making the Willamette Valley as hospitable as it is for grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The new Corollary estate vineyards will be planted to four traditional Champagne varieties; Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. As the property was previously used for timber harvest, it presents a blank canvas for viticulture. Diephouse and Feldkamp will work with a local vineyard management company to explore rootstocks, clone variety and row orientation.

They aim to plant and grow fruit best suited for sparkling wine production and share those lessons with the Willamette Valley wine community. The estate vineyards will be managed using permaculture and regenerative agriculture principles.

The duo at Corollary Wines started considering sparkling wine possibilities in Oregon after the cooler-than-average 2011 vintage, which saw sparkling wines beginning to appear in more Willamette Valley tasting rooms or wine club offerings. ‘Argyle has been leading the charge in sparkling wine here in the Willamette for a long while, but the 2011 vintage saw a surge in popularity throughout the Valley,’ said Diephouse.

Perhaps more importantly, in 2014, Andrew Davis began Radiant Sparkling Wine Company in the Willamette Valley town of McMinnville, bringing the costly and specialised equipment necessary to make sparkling wines to the valley’s many small-production wineries.

This growth in the industry created a broader sample size that convinced Diephouse and Feldkamp, born in nearby Beaverton, Oregon, that the varieties that were successful in Champagne could do well in the cool sites within the Willamette Valley. The couple relocated from the California Bay Area and started making sparkling wine at Corollary in 2017.

Corollary Wines will relocate its production to the new property with plans to develop a tasting room and winery facilities on the estate in 2024.

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