As Wooldridge Creek has evolved from a “hobby” vineyard planted by Ted and Mary in the 1970’s, to the vineyard, winery, creamery and charcuterie business that it is today, the four of us remain enthusiastic and proud of the legacy we are creating. We have become a family – sharing births, deaths, arrivals and departures. Between us we have five children and two grandchildren. We are hopeful that one of them will fall in love with this place we all call home and want to carry on for us into the future. We believe that community and stewardship of the land are what it is all about.
Wooldridge family homesteads at the site of the future upper vineyard
Glen Wooldridge, a distant cousin, opens the Rogue River for future rafting
Ted and Mary search the west coast of the USA looking for the “perfect” property to escape LA and decide on Wooldridge Creek
Ted and Mary build a “guest” cabin that they end up living in for 25 years. They marry on the site of future winery and neighbors present drink Ted’s basement stash of first growth Bordeaux
The “hobby” vineyard is planted with two varietals
Ted attempts to make wine (luckily for Kara and Greg it did not go well)
Additional parcels of land were acquired and the vineyard is expanded. Neighbor “Rich” takes over care of the vineyard.
Grapes are sold to wineries throughout Oregon
Ted retires from United and becomes a full-time farmer
Greg leaves lucrative job as a pharmaceutical research chemist to attend winemaking school in the south of France (mid-life crises at 28?)
Greg and Kara meet at winemaking school at California State University, Fresno
Greg and Kara “wine kids” arrive in Southern Oregon start dreaming of (and pitching the idea) of a winery to Ted and Mary
Ted, Mary, Greg and Kara make their first wines together at Valley View Winery and move into the “little house” at Wooldridge Creek
Wooldridge Creek opens first tasting room in the garage of the carriage house (the corner of which was mistakenly built on the neighbors’ property)
Construction begins on winery and wine club is begun
Greg joins the Applegate Fire Dept. after losing a few cases of wine off his truck onto Hwy 238. and relies on the local fire department to “clean up his mess”
Grand Opening of the winery and new tasting room (with indoor plumbing, heating and air conditioning)
Vineyard earns “salmon safe” certification
Vineyard and Winery earn “LIVE Certified Sustainable” certification. Greg and Kara marry on the covered patio in the pouring rain.
The Oregonian refers to Kara as the “most powerful winemaker in the state” (Whatever THAT means)
The “annex” is built to accommodate the “keg” program
Employee vegetable garden established
Crushpad Creamery produces first cheese made with local organic milk
Additional tanks are added to the winery and our retired goats “the ladies” arrive
Charcuterie (fermented meats and vegetables) are produced on site and the “minis” arrive.
The pollinator garden is planted to showcase plants and flowers that benefit bees and butterflies.
Ted, Mary, Greg and Kara celebrate 40 years of grape-growing and 15 years of winemaking at Wooldridge Creek Vineyard, Winery, Creamery and Charcuterie