OUR PRODUCERS: Illahe Vineyards

Lowell Ford was a cherry grower in the 60s in Oregon. In the 1970s he took a trip to Germany and fell in love with the grape farming he saw there. When he retired in 2000 he bought the Illahe site in Dallas, Oregon. His son Brad joined the project in 2004. He had previously worked with local producers Evesham Wood, Lundeen, Scenic Valley Farms.

Illahe’s vineyard is on an 80-acre, south-facing slope first planted in 2001 with 22 acres of Pinot Noir. The vineyard now has a total of almost 60 acres, planted with seven varieties; Pinot Noir dominates, accounting for 50 of those acres. It is one of nine vineyards situated in the Mount Pisgah area. In this prime grape-growing region, the majority of the vineyard lies on marine sediments atop ancient siletz rock.

Illahe is a LIVE-certified, Salmon Safe vineyard. They use cover crops throughout the vineyard to benefit the soil and for biodiversity. As part of Oregon’s Deep Roots Coalition, which promotes responsible water management, they do not irrigate mature plants. They do extensive green pruning and conduct plant topping. All pruning, as well as the harvesting, is done by hand. Sulfur spray is only used to control for powdery mildew and botrytis.

Minimal intervention and historical winemaking techniques characterize the winemaking at Illahe.
Harvest is done by hand and the grapes are delivered to the winery by horse in very short totes or five-gallon buckets. They guard against juicing, degradation of grape clusters and exposure to harmful yeast before processing. The grapes are loaded onto the sorting table where any unripe or damaged clusters are removed by hand.


Brad Ford

Dallas, Oregon

Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner, Lagrein, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Viognier


185,000 bottles


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