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 all began in 1988 when accomplished winemaker Steve Girard walked away from the familiar 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 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.
Today, those same roots run deep, and Benton-Lane continues to produce expressive wines of complexity and nuance from our estate vineyards, planted to an array of clones and rootstocks. We preserve the purity of our land by farming sustainably, with an emphasis on biodynamic and organic practices whenever possible. With a focus on preserving native wildlife, caring for our soil, and managing our canopy for healthy and flavorful fruit, we can protect the authenticity of our wines by letting this modest but mighty plot of land speak for itself in the cellar.
When it comes to winemaking, Benton-Lane believes in a balance between tradition and innovation, and we let the incredible soils in our vineyards do most of the talking. Our winemaking team works closely together to guide our wines from vineyard to bottle, using inventive and proprietary methods to develop our hallmark silky, velvety wines with minimal intervention. Our Pinot Noirs then age for 10 to 15 months in a thoughtful blend of carefully maintained new and used French Oak barrels.