Chehalem Winery in familiar hands
Bill Stoller and Harry Peterson-Nedry have been co-owners of Chehalem Winery for 24 years, but Stoller has purchased Peterson-Nedry's share of equity and is prepared to take the reins on his own.
"Harry Peterson-Nedry has been a mentor to me," Stoller said in a press release. "When Harry first asked me to be an investor, I saw an opportunity to help fund a friend's dream and the chance to be a part of something with the potential to be iconic. As we enter this next chapter, I am honored to shepherd Chehalem's legacy."
Peterson-Nedry planted the first vineyard, Ridgecrest, in 1980. Today, Chehalem Winery has grown into three estate vineyards in the Willamette Valley. They are known for their pinot noirs and progressive approach to white wines. Peterson-Nedry was instrumental in the development of the Oregon Wine board, Willamette Valley Wineries Association, Oregon Pinot Camp, International Pinot Noir Celebration and industry groups that focused on defining Oregon's American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) and wine varieties.
"No one understands more how special the Chehalem brand is, how much passion and rigorous work it has taken, how much collaboration with other Willamette Valley pioneering wineries has gone on, than Bill," Peterson-Nedry said in a press release. "I take comfort knowing he will respect its heritage in a way that no one else could."
Stoller purchased his family's second-generation farm in 1993 and evolved the 398-acre property to become the largest vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA and the Willamette Valley. Stoller Family Estate was the first winery in the world to achieve LEED gold certification and the fifth Oregon winery to receive B Corp. certification.
The ownership change allows the two brands, under the leadership of Gary Mortensen acting as president, to leverage the economic advantages while continuing their independence.
"Chehalem is not Stoller and we like that," Mortensen said in a press release. "Each winery has its own history and future, with one common thread: both wineries are committed to, and known for, producing unique, world-class wines. I look forward to leading the exceptional staff at Chehalem and further advancing the brand."