Wine magazine honors Oregon’s Stoller Family Estate

By on March 17, 2014

Stoller Family Estate is in Dayton, Oregon, in the Dundee Hills.

Melissa Burr, winemaker, and Rob Schultz, vineyard manager, have helped make Stoller Family Estate in Oregon’s Dundee Hills, the Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

DAYTON, Ore. — Stoller Family Estate, a winery and vineyard in Oregon’s Dundee Hills, has been named Wine Press Northwest magazine’s 2014 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year.

The Dayton, Ore., winery appears on the cover of the Spring issue of the magazine, which arrives at subscribers’ homes and hits newsstands this week.

Stoller Family Estate is the first winery from the Dundee Hills to win the honor. Past recipients from Oregon include Zerba Cellars, Elk Cove Vineyards and Ken Wright Cellars.

Stoller Family Estate is owned by Bill Stoller, who was born on the land where the winery now is located. For many years, the land was used as a turkey farm, until Stoller purchased it in 1993 and planted grapes. He launched the winery in 2001 with the guidance of Harry Peterson-Nedry of Chehalem Wines in nearby Newberg. Stoller also is half-owner of Chehalem.

The wines, which focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, are made by Melissa Burr, 38, who joined the winery as head winemaker in 2003. Burr, who grew up in Salem and graduated from Portland State University, originally planned to get into naturopathic medicine but became entranced with wine when her in-laws purchased an old vineyard in the Columbia Gorge town of White Salmon, Wash.

Rob Schultz joined Stoller Family Estate in 2011 as vineyard manager and works closely with Burr and the rest of the team.

The winery is headed by Gary Mortensen, who is president of the company. In the 1980s and 1990s, Mortensen was vice president of Sokol Blosser, a winery not far from Stoller. There, he helped come up with Evolution No. 9, a white blend of nine grapes that has become the winery’s most popular wine. After working in high-tech startups and as a documentary filmmaker, Mortensen returned to the wine industry with Stoller.

Here is a list of past recipients of Wine Press Northwest’s Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year award:

  • 2013: Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville, Wash.
  • 2012: Thurston Wolfe, Prosser, Wash.
  • 2011: Zerba Cellars, Milton-Freewater, Ore.
  • 2010: Vin du Lac, Chelan, Wash.
  • 2009: Wild Goose Vineyards, Okanagan Falls, B.C.
  • 2008: Dunham Cellars, Walla Walla, Wash.
  • 2007: Elk Cove Vineyards, Gaston, Ore.
  • 2006: Barnard Griffin, Richland, Wash.
  • 2005: Ken Wright Cellars: Carlton, Ore.
  • 2004: L’Ecole No. 41, Lowden, Wash.
  • 2003: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, Summerland, B.C.
  • 2002: Columbia Crest, Paterson, Wash.

The magazine also honored the following wineries in the Spring issue:

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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