Elton Vineyards, located in Salem, Oregon in the Eola-Amity Hills wine region, was founded in 1983 by Dick and Betty O’Brien. The land was inherited from Betty’s parents, Elton and Peggy Ingram.
The O’Briens operated Elton Vineyards until their retirement in 2007, at which time they leased the land to Willamette Valley Vineyards. The original five-acre spread has expanded to 60 acres of mainly Pinot noir clones. Dijon Chardonnay, Pinot gris, and Grüner Veltliner are also grown.
This interview is an oral history conducted by Linfield College staff Rich Schmidt and Linfield College student Camille Weber with Dick and Betty O’Brien. The interview took place at the O’Briens’ home on March 5, 2015 and covered topics including their time and involvement in the wine industry and how Oregon’s wine industry has grown.