David-Lett-christening-his-first-grape-vines-planted-in-the-Willamette-Valley-Oregon

“David Lett pioneered both Pinot noir and its white wine cousin, Pinot gris, the two grapes that define Oregon wine today. But just as important, he established the very tone of Oregon winegrowing: artisanal, individualistic, even idiosyncratic…

You can look at Oregon’s 300-plus wineries and 17,400 acres of vines and trace it to Lett. But he left more than that. He bequeathed a uniquely Oregon ‘wine genome,’ one that others now seek to copy.”

Matt Kramer
The Wine Spectator
The Oregonian


The-Eyrie-Vineyards-in-the-Dundee-Hills

“So many hopes and dreams are held in these fragile leaves and tender shoots which seemed a few months ago to be only dead sticks pushed into the Oregon mud.

I cannot help but feel now that success will be ours – there seems such a harmony between the earth, the sun, the cool breezes, the ranging predators which have so far kept injury from my vines, and myself and feeble scratching to keep away thirsty weeds and produce an occasional wetting. The vines seem now to be individual beings, each possessing for itself the same confidence which I have in them. I hope that pervading spirit never leaves either of us.”

David Lett
Journal entry, July 1965

“Three months after meeting David Lett in 1966, I was Diana Lett, standing out in the middle of a field of grape vines in Oregon, with a shovel and a brand new yellow rain-suit. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I was thrilled to be in on the opening chapter of a great adventure.

It seemed like a long time at the time, but in a few years several other families joined us. As we got to know each other, we realized that we shared ideals. We also realized that we had an absolutely unique opportunity – to build a wine region from scratch, and build it right.

50 years and a thriving community later, it does look like we did it right. I am so proud of what has been accomplished in these five decades, and I am very grateful that I got to be a part of it. I am immensely glad that I have been able to spend my life in this beautiful state of Oregon, helping to build The Eyrie Vineyards.”

Diana Lett
2015

“In 2005 I came back to Eyrie as winemaker. I was often asked, “What are you going to change?” My answer was, ‘Fundamentally? Nothing.’

Since then, we have planted new vines and introduced new varieties to the Willamette Valley. We moved to wild yeast fermentations. We developed a 21-step process to guarantee the quality of our library releases. We released single vineyard Pinots from each of our estates for the first time in our history.

In spite of the changes, nothing has changed. Exploration and innovation has been a part of the Eyrie adventure since Dad planted the first vines in 1965. I’m honored to have a part in carrying the journey forward.”

Jason Lett
2016
Jason-Harvesting

Second generation winemaker Jason Lett harvests fruit from the Original Vines planted over 50 years ago at the Eyrie Vineyard.