2014 Bradley Vineyard Pinot Noir
We are proud to present our first bottling from the Bradley Vineyard in the Elkton sub AVA of the Umpqua Valley. A tribute to John Bradley and all that he has done to further the wine industry in the Umpqua Valley. Produced entirely from Wadensvil clone Pinot Noir planted in 1983 this wine exhibits an amazing richness of fruit and delicate earthiness. Fermented in concrete open tops and aged for 14months in 50% new French Oak. We recently enjoyed a mushroom ragu with this earthy Pinot.
When John Bradley moved to Elkton in 1971 he worked with childhood friend, Kit Burham as a contractor, building houses around Douglas County. When the recession hit in 1980, he took the opportunity to follow a long time dream of farming, and thus allowing him to stay closer to home in Elkton, with his growing family. With encouragement and support from long-time grape-grower, Ken Thomason, he began exploring a career in viticulture. After a research road trip through California with friend, Steve Wertz, and with financial support from his half-brother, Richard Bradley, John purchased property and grape vine cuttings to establish Bradley Vineyards in 1983. This was prior to the invention of grow tubes and drip irrigation, so it took a lot of hard work and care, to bring his vines to production.
For nearly 20 years, John grew grapes for winemakers around Oregon. He worked closely with other local growers such as Ken Thomason, Bob Bingham and Norm Bing, to establish Elkton as a renowned winegrowing region. When Ken Thomason’s kids opted out of inheriting his estate, he sold his vineyards to Mike and Vonnie Landt, who would later establish River’s Edge Winery in Elkton. While Mike and Vonnie wrapped up their prior careers in St. Louis and transitioned to Oregon, John managed and cared for their vines.
John is regularly named around Elkton as, ‘the reason I moved here.’ Winemakers, grape growers, even a local vineyard management company all give credit to John. In the early 2000s, Elkton began its expansion, with the establishment of River’s Edge Winery in 2000, Bradley Winery in 2001 and Brandborg Winery in 2002. John expanded Bradley Vineyards in 2001 by introducing the Pommard clone of Pinot Noir and Baco Noir. As more vines went in the ground around Elkton, John served as a consultant for new growers. He also worked closely with Terry Brandborg and Mike Landt to establish the Elkton Oregon AVA (approved in 2013).
In January 2014, John suddenly passed away due to a complication related to a recent cancer diagnosis. His wife, Bonnie, retired from a 38-year teaching career to manage Bradley Vineyards full-time. Shortly thereafter, daughter Rachel and son Tyler, moved back to Elkton to help. Together the Bradley family continues to care for the vines the way John did, providing some of the area’s most premium wine grapes.