Roots Wines & Vineyard
Roots Wines & Vineyard
Phone: (503) 730-0296
Contact: Hilary Berg
Born in Racine, Wisc., and raised in Idaho, Pennsylvania and Illinois, winemaker and winegrower Chris Berg didn't always know he wanted to make wine.
In fact, when he graduated from the University of Kansas in Lawrence with a bachelor's in English, he wasn't sure what his future held, as far as a career.
Meanwhile his parents, Chuck and Dian Berg, had decided to relocate to Oregon from Illinois with the purchase of a manufacturing company in Tualatin. Chris soon followed and helped his parents at the plant, as well as the other reason for the big move: planting a small vineyard.
In 1999, the Bergs planted seven acres of mostly PInot Noir on the 20-acre property near Yamhill in the Yamhill-Carlton District of the Willamette Valley. Chuck and Dian built a small house on the vineyard, and Chris lived in Portland with his wife, Hilary, also a Jayhawk.
The seven-acre vineyard contains mostly Pinot Noir with a couple rows of Pinot Gris. The Pinot Noir clones include 114, 115, 777 and are planted in Willakenzie soil and with a southwest slope.
The family's business closed their doors in 2000 and the Bergs found themselves full-time winery folk. In 2001, Chuck and Dian moved to the sunny locale of Wickenburg, Arizona to be near Dian's parents. Chris and Hilary were then given the opportunity to move to the vineyard from Portland.
In 2002, the Bergs picked their first harvest of a whopping three tons, which were made into 72 cases of Pinot Noir.
In 2003, overall production was increased to 250 cases, more than doubling it size. In this same year, Roots introduced its reserve bottling, called Racine.
In 2004, the Bergs witnessed a smaller vintage, due to poor flowering, which affected much of the Willamette Valley. Roots Vineyard increased, but not by much. They produced only 300 cases that year. But, even though numbers were disappointing, Chris launched the third label, Klee, which pays homage to Bauhaus artist-in-residence Paul Klee, a major contributor to the movement.
For the 2005 vintage, numbers were up again with Roots Vineyard producing 350 cases. In this same year, Chris also decided to purchase winegrapes from Cherry Grove Vineyard, Apolloni Vineyard (near Banks) and Leroy Vineyard (just outside of Hillsboro). In all, 550 cases were produced for the three labels: Roots, Racine and Klee.
The next vintage, 2006, was a great year. Roots' estate vineyard produced nine tons of fruit, making approximately 500 cases. Additionally, another 23 tons of fruit were purchased increasing the number of overall cases to 2,000. Again, all three labels were bottled.
This year's harvest looks to be a great one. Please stay tuned, or rather, plugged in
Winemaker: Chris Berg
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