The Ways Cooper Mountain Is Breaking Into the Willamette Valley

A 43-year-old family-owned winery located just outside Portland, Oregon recently announced its expansion into the Willamette Valley — a move its owners expect to elevate both its winemaking and overall customer experience. 

Cooper Mountain Vineyards, the first certified biodynamic winery in the Pacific Northwest, is growing where it’s planted with two significant acquisitions in the Willamette Valley. 

The winery is expanding its sustainable footprint to a total of 325 acres, which includes some of the Willamette Valley’s oldest vines.

The purchase includes the Chehalem Mountain Vineyard, which has vines that are more than 50 years old, and ArborBrook Vineyard and tasting room.

Cooper Mountain Vineyards, which was founded by Dr. Robert Gross, a natural medical practitioner and early proponent of holistic viticulture, and his wife Corrine Gross, is now run by their daughter, Barbara Gross, and its ownership includes daughter Anne Branfman and son David Gross.

“These acquisitions give us the opportunity to raise our quality to the highest level, in terms of both winemaking and hospitality,” says Barbara Gross, co-owner and Director of Operations, Cooper Mountain Vineyards. “Our family could not be more thrilled about this opportunity to grow our roots deeper into the valley and further invest in the Oregon wine industry.” 

Chehalem Mountain Vineyard was planted in 1969 by Oregon wine pioneer Dick Erath. It is planted to seven clones of Pinot Noir and three clones of Chardonnay, producing some of the Willamette Valley’s highest quality grapes. Cooper Mountain has purchased the vineyard from its most recent owner, Capra Company, which is reducing its landholdings to focus further on WG Edge, a philanthropic program to support young women in agriculture. 

ArborBrook Vineyards was founded by Dave and Mary Hansen in 2001, with an estate vineyard and tasting room in Newberg, Oregon. With Cooper Mountain’s original location in Beaverton, this tasting room will allow the winery to expand its hospitality programs into the heart of the Willamette Valley amid other popular wineries.

Cooper Mountain’s five estate vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic, farmed by a team led by Gerry Sanchez for over three decades. Cooper Mountain will begin converting Chehalem Mountain Vineyard and ArborBrook’s vineyard to organic and biodynamic in 2022, a continued investment in sustainable agriculture. Of the 325 acres of land that will be amassed by these acquisitions, 200 are planted to vines, with 125 acres to remain natural forest.

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