The story of Benton-Lane is steeped in discovery and adventure. True to Oregon, it was born from the spirit of rugged individualism and relentless exploration.
It began in 1988 when accomplished winemaker Steve Girard left Napa Valley and ventured North, driven by a desire to craft cool-climate Pinot Noir in the then-uncharted region of Oregon’s Southern Willamette Valley. His journey led him to the pristine soils of a historic sheep ranch, known as Sunny Mount Ranch, on a sweeping ridge that extended from the Coastal Mountain Range. The surrounding mountains protected the ranch by gently pushing rain clouds to the north and south of the property, creating the perfect mix of sunny days and cool nights needed for growing exceptional Pinot Noir. Cloaked in a thick forest and surrounded by miles of untouched land, his newly planted vineyard offered an interesting mix of sedimentary and volcanic soils which would provide a diverse opportunity for terroir expression.
Benton-Lane is a 317-acre estate, with 141-acres planted to vineyard. We have both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay planted on the property, with our focus being Pinot Noir. The vines sit within the valley fog-line and below the windy hilltops, allowing the estate to enjoy milder weather than the Northern Valley, yet still employ the same well drained soils. We have two primary soil types because of millions of years of geological history, these are marine sedimentary and volcanic basalt. The soils are a result of Oregon’s location in the “Ring of Fire”, an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean that is home to 75% of the world’s volcanoes and 90% of the world’s earthquakes.
We take pride in farming our estate as naturally as possible, and we use organic, sustainable, and biodynamic practices whenever possible.
Crafting great wines needs both an exceptional estate and incredible, dedicated people. Winemaker Amael Orrego and General Manager Gretchen Boock work side-by-side to ensure Benton-Lane’s wines are always of the utmost quality and precision.
In our newly renovated winemaking facility, the team utilizes a mix of small and large fermenters, always treating the lots individually to ensure our wine is an ultimate expression of our estate and terroir. Our Pinot Noir is aged for 10 to 15 months in 100% French oak barrels.