31 minutes 46 seconds



Interview Summary

Stephen Cary is the winemaker at Yamhill Valley Vineyards in McMinnville, Oregon. Cary has left many impressive marks on the wine industry during his time thus far, including the founding of the Steamboat Conference and organizing the Burgundy Challenge. He knew early on that a normal 9-5 job was not the right path for him and has since been involved in the industry as a wine seller, buyer, and winemaker. Cary makes his wine with the philosophy that the grapes tell him how to deal with them. To Cary, a significant aspect that distinguishes Oregon wines from other parts of the world is the terroir.

In 1974, Myron Redford and his partner Janis Checchia purchased an existing vineyard in Amity, Oregon. Redford built the winery himself in 1976, and while the winery was still under construction, he and Checchia produced the first commercial wine from Amity Vineyards.

In this interview, Cary and Redford discuss some of the early challenges of marketing Oregon wine and how the industry overcame those challenges. Specific events such as the International Pinot Noir Celebration, Steamboat, the Burgundy Challenge, and others were key in establishing Oregon as a serious producer of quality wine.

This interview was conducted in 2004.


Some oral history interviews are conducted on site and may contain background noise from nature, winery, or tasting room operations. The videos in this collection are raw footage donated to the Oregon Wine History Archives. The quality of the footage is inconsistent and contains some visual disturbances with camera movement. Motion sickness may occur.

This project is supported in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust.