This collection features content from the David Adelsheim Collection as part of the Oregon Wine History Archive. Some items were initially digitized as part of the Oregon Wine History Project™, a collaborative research venture from the Linfield Center for the Northwest.
David Adelsheim founded Adelsheim Vineyard with Ginny Adelsheim in 1971. He is now the president of the company after having filled various positions over the years. He earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oregon Wine Board in 2012.
In this interview, David Adelsheim shares what drew him to wine growing and some of his early connections in the industry. He talks about some of his mistakes and what he has learned after years in the industry.
In 1973 Oregon passed two ground-breaking pieces of legislation, Senate Bills 100 and 101. These bills established the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development and required the creation of statewide planning goals and the protection of designated farmland. Pioneer vintners David Adelsheim and David Lett, along with others in the wine-growing community, seized on the opportunity to designate and protect future vineyard sites by lobbying county planning committees to restrict residential growth in the areas the men believed would be profitable. These maps served as a visual aid for Adelsheim and Lett during those meetings and are a reminder of how much work these men put in to ensure the future of their industry. Note that the areas they determined to be good vineyard sites are highlighted in pink. Adelsheim, Lett, and others made the case that it was not only the low-level lands of the Willamette Valley that should be considered for agricultural purposes.