Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, September 09, 2022, Page 9, Image 9

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    Friday, September 9, 2022
Brandborg Vineyard and Winery:
Couple discovers wine community
For the Capital Press
ELKTON, Ore. — From
U-picking grapes and mak-
ing wine in his Northern
California garage in the
mid-1980s to his own 5-acre
vineyard, winery and tast-
ing room in Elkton, it’s been
quite a journey for Terry
He and his wife, Sue,
established Brandborg Vine-
yard and Winery in 2002.
The couple met at a wine
festival in Jackson Hole,
Wyo. They married in 2001
and soon began looking up
and down the California
coast for land to start their
own vineyard and wine busi-
ness. They discovered they
didn’t have the money for
California’s high land prices
so they looked farther north.
The Brandborgs had
friends in Sutherlin, Ore.,
and during visits with them,
the couple visited wineries
in Douglas County. They
were able to meet wine-
makers Richard Sommer at
Hucrest Winery, Philippe
Girardet at Girardet Vine-
yards, Scott Henry at Henry
Estate Winery and Earl
Jones at Abacela Winery.
The Brandborgs were
told Douglas County off ered
a variety of soil types and
micro climates.
With their knowledge of
a coastal climate from their
experiences in California
and encouragement from
Jones at Abacela, the Brand-
borgs checked out the Elk-
ton area.
“I found the climate data
from the state forestry nurs-
ery (near Elkton) and it was a
bull’s-eye for what we were
looking for,” Terry Brand-
borg said. “Elkton is always
the coolest of the Umpqua
areas that grow grapes. The
elevation here is only 142
feet and there’s a pretty gen-
tle fl ow of cool breezes with
fog from the Pacifi c Ocean.”
Craig Reed/For the Capital Press
Terry and Sue Brandborg in their Elkton, Ore., tasting
room. The couple established Brandborg Vineyard and
Winery in 2002.
They made the decision
in 2002 to purchase a south-
west facing hillside property
5 miles west of the small
town. That same year, with
the help of some high school
students, the Brandborgs
planted 5 acres of Pinot noir
The initial thought was
to build a “modest winery
and tasting room” next to
the vineyard, but the Brand-
borgs quickly realized the
location would limit a retail
presence. They built a two-
story facility in Elkton, just
across the sidewalk from
Highway 38, a popular route
to the coast.
The Brandborgs’ fi rst
vintage of their Elkton wine
totaled about 2,500 cases.
They continued as a two-per-
son crew until three years
later, when they produced
6,000 cases and decided it
was time to hire more help.
Between its Brandborg
label and custom making
wine for a few other labels,
the Brandborg Winery now
averages about 10,000
cases annually. The Brand-
borg wines are made from
its own vineyard grapes and
also from grapes of several
other small Elkton area vine-
yards — Bradley, Anindor,
Michaels, Elk Valley and
Hundredth Valley.
Brandborg’s main red
wine is Pinot noir, and
its main white wines are
Pinot gris, Reisling and
A few other niche red
wines are also made to pro-
vide a variety in the tast-
ing room, but they’re not in
“We put every eff ort into
making quality wine for oth-
ers as we do our own,” Terry
Brandborg said of the win-
ery. “We’re grateful to have
discovered this little niche
community, this region.”
Brandborg has been an
advocate for the Douglas
County wine industry. He’s
been a board member of
the Umpqua Valley Wine-
growers Association and
has twice been its president,
from 2007 to 2010 and from
2016 to 2020. From 2010 to
2014, he served on the Ore-
gon Wine Board.
He also helped lead the
eff ort that in 2013 resulted
in the Elkton area being des-
ignated an American Viticul-
ture Area.
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