Yamhill Valley Vineyards Collection


Interviews

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 maker. Cary makes his wine with the philosophy that the grapes tell him how to deal with them. To Cary, a significant aspect that differs Oregon wines from other parts of the world is the terroir.

In this interview, Cary goes into depth on the Steamboat Conference. He tells of the origin of the famous event, what it entails and how it has remained a symbol of the efforts of collaboration in the Oregon Wine Industry for over 30 years.

This interview was conducted by Rachael Woody on July 13, 2015.


This interview is with Stephen Cary, winemaker at Yamhill Valley Vineyards in McMinnville, Oregon. Cary discusses what it was like in the beginning, his experiences in the industry, his relationships with everyone, and what the culture of wine is like today in Oregon.

This interview was conducted by Janis Miglavs on January 8, 2008.


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.


Photos

These photographs were taken during an oral history interview with Stephen Cary of Yamhill Valley Vineyards. All photographs were taken at Yamhill Valley Vineyards, both in the tasting room and the vineyard. The interview was conducted for the Oregon Wine History Archive in April of 2015.

All images in this gallery are courtesy of Frank Miller of FMILLERPHOTOGRAPHY.

Cary4   Cary3   Cary2   Cary1   Cary5


Documents

This collection showcases two documents written by Stephen Cary, winemaker at Yamhill Valley Vineyards in McMinnville, Oregon. One document is about the Steamboat Conference, an event held annually for winemakers to discuss Pinot Noir and share ideas about winemaking. The second document is about the Burgundy Challenge, an event which was held in New York City in 1985 and altered the course of Oregon’s then-struggling Pinot Noir market.

Oregon-Burgundy Challenge

Steamboat Conference History