In the early 1970s, Ted was a United Airlines pilot and Mary was working for TWA at the Los Angeles Airport. After many years of frying their skin on the beaches of Southern California, Ted and Mary decided to seek a four-season climate where wine grapes would flourish. They loaded up their VW van and set out to explore the Northwest.
In the spring of 1976, while in Southern Oregon visiting Mary’s Aunty May and Uncle Bob, they spotted the current winery site from across the Applegate River. A quick trip to the north side of the river and up Slagle Creek Road confirmed that their search was over. They promptly purchased 18 acres and planned their move.
When the two arrived for good in 1977, they came with an MG, a VW van, an old Ford Bronco, a spotted dog, two cats, and eleven-year-old daughter Chrys. The family camped out in a camper shell at Aunty May and Uncle Bob’s while building the little log cabin that would be their home for the next 25 years.
Ted continued to fly for United, often gone for several days at a time. During his absences, Mary tended to Chrys and a growing menagerie of animals. She also looked after the small original planting of grapevines, located where the winery is today.
Ted and Mary attempted to make wine early on. That fateful endeavor led them to conclude that they were better suited to growing grapes than making wine. They continued to expand the vineyard – both acreage and plantings – and focused on selling the grapes to wineries around the state.
Over the years, additional parcels of land were purchased and planted. Today, the vineyard consists of 56 acres, and Ted and Mary have moved into a larger log home which they built above the main vineyard. The vineyard continues to be managed, worked, and picked by a crew of local neighbors and Applegate Valley residents.
Ted has retired from United Airlines, and Mary continues to try to retire from her family’s business. Their retirement vision of travels and outdoor adventures has expanded to include winery activities.