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Owner Lowell Ford first planted grapes at Glen Creek Vineyard in Salem in 1983. In 2000, he planted the 80-acre Illahe Vineyard property, which was a pasture at the time. Located in Dallas, Oregon, in the Willamette Valley, the vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir and a variety of white varieties. In the 1990s, Lowell helped found the Northwest Viticulture Center at Chemeketa where he worked as Dean of Students and is still on the board of directors.
Illahe is a local Chinook word that has been used to describe "land" for centuries in the Northwest. Comparable to the French word, terroir, in a sense it is the Northwest's word for terroir.
Brad Ford and Michael Lundeen collaborate as winemakers.
Illahe wines may be ordered directly at 503-831-1248.
2014 Illahe Estate Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., $19. Illahe is Chinook jargon for “land, earth or soil.” Small lot fermented, basked pressed, barrel aged. Crafted from LIVE certified sustainable grapes, Salmon Safe. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with blackberry, black raspberry, and black cherry fruits with a hint of terra-cotta and a whiff of volatile acidity. A polished wine with exquisite balance, offering a mid weight core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit, finishing with some length and a tug of oak. An entry level wine from a superb vintage offering great value. Score: 89. Reviewed July 9, 2016 ARTICLE »