Stephen James Cary, 5/6/46-4/28/18

Stephen Cary, longtime winemaker at Yamhill Valley Vineyards, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 28, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. He was 71 years old.

Stephen began his wine career selling Burgundy wines for Henny Hinsdale, and then moved on to start his own distributor business, Cary Oregon Wines. He was one of the original coordinators of the Steamboat Pinot Noir Conference, an organization developed to bring together Pinot Noir producers from California and Oregon with the goal of making great Pinot Noir. Conversations were frank, open and constructive, and the conference proved a success. Over the years it has grown to include Pinot Noir producers from all over the world and is now in its 38th year. In 1984, Yamhill Valley Vineyards' 1983 Pinot Noir was presented at the Steamboat Conference, and Cary Oregon Wines began representing the winery in late 1984. 

Stephen was passionate about Pinot Noir, Oregon Pinot Noir in particular, and was frustrated by the perceived lack of respect for the wines in the wider market. He suggested a blind comparative tasting between 1983 vintages from Burgundy, France, and Oregon, U.S.A. This tasting, the Oregon-Burgundy Challenge, was conducted at the International Wine Center in New York City, in September, 1985. The wine judges were asked to identify the origin of each wine and to select their three favorites. As a group, the 25 judges could not correctly identify the origin of at least half of the wines. Oregon wines placed first, second, third and tied for fourth and fifth, with Yamhill Valley Vineyards placing first. This event, and a second competition repeating the first event two years later, in which Oregon again placed first, second and tied for third, helped Oregon wines earn respect globally. 

In 1991, Stephen began as winemaker at Yamhill Valley Vineyards, a position that he held until 2016. Over his thirty three years as an associate of the winery, he dedicated his time to listening to the vines, and crafting distinctive wines which reflected the terroir and voice of the vineyards, in what he considered a very special place. During his retirement, as he took on the role of winemaker emeritus, he continued to assist and advise the winemaking team; in 2017, his last harvest, he was in his regular position on the forklift, coordinating the arrival of the fruit on the crush pad, clearly energized by being part of another vintage.

 

Stephen’s fierce advocacy of Pinot Noir serves to support and sustain us all. We feel privileged to have known him, and to have benefited from his encyclopedic knowledge of winemaking, of history, geography, geology, photography, the art of fly tying and how to tell a dirty joke. He was a true giant in the industry. By standing on the shoulders of this giant, and following our passion for wine, and for life, we can honor the man, and his legacy.

Upcoming Events

Yamhill Valley Vineyards at 3rd on 3rd

Jul 19, 2019

McMinnville's 3rd Friday on 3rd Street!Join Yamhill Valley Vineyards at Yamhill Valley Dry Goods!July 19, 20194:00-8:00 p.m. | $10 per personCheck in at Hotel Oregon to receive 5 taste tickets, a commemorative ... read  more

McMinnville's 3rd Friday on 3rd Street!Join Yamhill Valley Vineyards at Yamhill Valley Dry Goods!July 19, 20194:00-8:00 p.m. | $10 per personCheck in at Hotel Oregon to receive 5 taste tickets, a commemorative glass, a wine bag, and a map of the event.This is a self-guided tour so stroll, sip, explore and enjoy Historic Downtown McMinnville at your own pace.    

Birds & Poppies Art Reception

Jul 20, 2019

We invite you to the Birds & Poppies Artist Reception. We are teaming up with The Gallery at Ten Oaks to curate an art show in our Tasting Room of all  bird and poppy inspired work. Join us for ... read  more

We invite you to the Birds & Poppies Artist Reception. We are teaming up with The Gallery at Ten Oaks to curate an art show in our Tasting Room of all  bird and poppy inspired work. Join us for a glass  and mingle with the local artists who will be showcasing their work.The 2017 Riesling will be making it's debut at this event. Come try a complimentary first taste of the newest member ...

2017 Riesling Release - It's Time!

Jul 20, 2019

The 2017 Riesling will be making it's debut at the Birds & Poppies Artist Reception!  Join us for a complimentary first taste of the newest member of the YVV family. Open to the public - ... read  more

The 2017 Riesling will be making it's debut at the Birds & Poppies Artist Reception!  Join us for a complimentary first taste of the newest member of the YVV family. Open to the public - no reservations are required. Enjoy light bites and the work of some of our local fabulous creatives all while enjoying an inaugural sip of our new Riesling offering. Spoiler Alert! Notes of lime zest, ...

YVV Pouring at Concerts on the Plaza - McMinnville

Jul 25, 2019

Join us downtown at the US Bank Plaza (3rd and Davis) for an evening of live music, a wine and beer garden, delicious food, and fun for the whole family. This week's artist is Bitches of the Sun, ... read  more

Join us downtown at the US Bank Plaza (3rd and Davis) for an evening of live music, a wine and beer garden, delicious food, and fun for the whole family. This week's artist is Bitches of the Sun, a rock band based out of Portland, Oregon. Visit their Facebook page: Bitches of the Sun  

1st Tuesday @ Taste on 23rd

Aug 6, 2019

Pop into this neighborhood wine bar & bottle shop on the first Tuesday of the month for a complimentary tasting with Yamhill Valley Vineyards! This month will feature Yamhill Valley Vineyard's ... read  more

Pop into this neighborhood wine bar & bottle shop on the first Tuesday of the month for a complimentary tasting with Yamhill Valley Vineyards! This month will feature Yamhill Valley Vineyard's General Manager, Jenny Burger, pouring two of her favorite wines!   Taste on 23rd 2285 NW Johnson St, Portland, Oregon 97210
Web Design and Web Development by Buildable