• Winderlea® Vineyard & Winery Receives B Corp Certification


    Contact: Donna Morris

    Winderlea® Vineyard & Winery Receives B Corp Certification
    2nd Oregon Winery and 4th Globally to Achieve Comprehensive Business Sustainability

    Dundee, OREGON – 22 APRIL 2015 Winderlea® Vineyard and Winery, a boutique winery specializing in the limited production of Pinot noir and Chardonnay from Oregon, announced today that they have successfully completed and received B Corp certification by the nonprofit certifying organization B Lab. Winderlea® achieved certification after meeting rigorous standards of social
    and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Winderlea® is just the 2nd winery in Oregon and 4th winery globally to have achieved this comprehensive business sustainability certification. B Corp certification is to sustainable business what LEED® certification is to green building or Fair Trade® certification is to coffee. Today, there is a growing community of over 1,250 Certified B Corps from more than 38 countries and 60 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business voluntarily by meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance.

    Upon the purchase of a 32-year old vineyard in 2006, Winderlea® Vineyard and Winery owners Bill Sweat and Donna Morris built their business with these concepts in mind.   Over the course of two years, Winderlea® introduced sustainable farming practices that enabled the vineyard to earn its LIVE® and Salmon Safe® certifications in 2008.  In 2009, Winderlea® began employing
    biodynamic practices and became one of just 14 wineries in Oregon to achieve phase 2 compliance in the carbon reduction program established by the Oregon Environmental Council.  

    Winderlea’s® vineyard Tasting Room was designed by Portland architect Ernie Munch to employ both passive and active energy reduction strategies and in 2008 became the first Oregon tasting room to install an electric vehicle charger.  From the time they opened their tasting room in 2008 thru 2011, Winderlea® donated 100% of their tasting room fees to iSalud!, the organization that provides healthcare services to Oregon’s vineyard workers and families.  Since 2012 Winderlea® has made a monthly contribution from tasting fees to support iSalud! as well as participating in an annual auction that further supports iSalud’s! funding.  In addition to their support of iSalud!, Winderlea® contributes over 5% of company revenue to non-profit organizations focused on education and the arts.  

    Winderlea® owners Bill Sweat and Donna Morris were intrigued when they first learned about B Corps and their mission to “use business as a force for good.”  This complemented what they were doing with their vineyard, building, philanthropic and people practices and their goal of building a business that reflected their values.  Donna shares that they were motivated by their desire to make great wine as well as to create a holistic sustainable business.  Bill adds that for him the B Corp experience gave them the opportunity to assess their practices with the most sustainable businesses in the world and that it gives them a process to continue to improve their practices.

    While the couple feels there is still a great deal more to be done, being a B Corp gives them a map that will lead to ongoing improvement and connects them with a community of like -minded business owners. 


    Winderlea® wines can be purchased directly on-line, through Club Membership, at their sustainable estate tasting room in Dundee or winery tasting room in McMinnville, Oregon. A selection of Winderlea® wines are also available at fine restaurants and wine shops throughout the country. For a listing of states to which Winderlea can ship and a list of distributors through which
    restaurants and wine shops may purchase, visit the Winderlea® web site at www.winderlea.com


  • The Vintage with No Bird and No Cannons

    October 2, 2014 by Donna

    Winderlea winery & vineyards, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon

    Harvest is nearly complete at Winderlea. With our earliest start on record (September 11th) we picked all of the Winderlea estate vineyard by Friday, September 19th. The only fruit that came in ahead of our estate vineyard was the Shea Vineyard block which we harvested on Sunday, September 14th. The remainder of our Dundee Hills AVA sites (Weber, Juliard, Maresh and Black Walnut) were picked between between September 21st and 29th. Our cooler sites (Meredith Mitchell and Crawford Beck vineyards) happily hung fruit through the 1st of October.

    We had a pleasant Chardonnay surprise on the Winderlea vineyard this year. We’ve most likely told you that the 2 oldest blocks, planted in ‘74 and ‘76, were originally Chardonnay and grafted over to Pinot noir. Well, due to some poor cane selection during pruning over the years, many more Chardonnay canes have been reestablished. In fact, after doing a vine count we concluded that we might have enough Chardonnay to produce a barrel of estate Chardonnay from the the “Legacy” blocks. We did pick the Chardonnay separately and it is currently fermenting away on its own. For you Winderlea Chardonnay fans, this could be something special and we will keep you posted.

    In summary, all of the fruit is pristine and plentiful and we are excited about the prospects for a truly wonderful 2014 vintage.

  • Winderlea featured in The World of Fine Wine

    Winderlea was recently named one of the new Oregonians in The World of Fine Wine. From the article:

    “Three vintages on, Winderlea has become one of the showpiece wineries of the Willamette. its Pinot noirs from the estate vineyard, and from grapes purchased from the adjoining Ana Vineyard, show the seriousness of purpose of good Burgundy, perhaps, but are filled with the sunshine-ripened cherry and dark-berry flavors of Oregon. That was Sweat’s blueprint from the start. “Rock ’n’ roll traces its roots to blues and country and rockabilly,” he explains. “And rock is none of those things and also all of those things. We knew coming out here that we weren’t making Burgundy. This is a different place. But where we started from was a love of Burgundy—and perhaps you can taste a bit of that in our wines.”

    Download the PDF to read the full article

  • Winderlea Featured in “Oregon Wine Press”

    Karl Klooster writes, “It won’t be long before word gets out that the little winery referred to by its owners as a “luxury boutique” is, indeed, a viticultural version of Gucci, Hermès and Versace.” This article also appeared in the Yamhill Valley News Register in October 2008. Read the full article at Oregon Wine Press

  • New Tasting Room and 2006 Inaugural Vintage

    Winderlea® Vineyard & Winery – a luxury boutique winery specializing in limited production Oregon Pinot noir announced today the opening of its new tasting room on Worden Hill Road in Dundee. Owners Donna Morris and Bill Sweat are also releasing Winderlea’s inaugural vintage built around the legendary Goldschmidt Vineyard in the heart of the Dundee Hills, which they purchased in 2006. The purchase included 20 acres on the Red Hills Bench, the area in which Oregon’s international recognition for great Pinot noir began.

    Boasting some of the oldest vines in the Willamette Valley – the vineyard was planted in 1974 — the property sits on the south side of Worden Hill Road with ideal elevations of 480 to 570 feet. The original plantings include Pommard, Wadenswil, Dijon and the so-called Coury clones of Pinot noir. Today the site is composed of 13 blocks entirely devoted to Pinot noir.

    Winderlea’s new sustainably-built 4000 square foot tasting room, which includes a commercial kitchen, offices and equipment storage, was designed by Ernie Munch and Travis Butler of Ernest R. Munch, Architect & Urban Planner, LLC of Portland, Oregon. The firm was chosen for its reputation as a leader in sustainable architecture and experience with winery related projects. Winderlea’s new building was designed and built to take advantage of its site and minimize the use of electricity. The building is designed to conserve energy and shift its source of energy to that which can be harvested on-site, principally sunlight. Winderlea® has installed solar hot water heaters and Day4 Energy photovoltaic modules to meet its energy needs. The building also relies on passive solar heating, natural ventilation and daylight harvesting for lighting. And, with an eye toward the future, the parking lot will feature a station for electric vehicles to recharge.

    The modern structure was designed to perform its function as a gatherer of solar energy and to highlight the expansive views of Winderlea® and neighboring vineyards. Many of the materials used for construction contain recycled components, are sustainable and produce a healthy interior environment. The east and south sides of the building are made up entirely of glass and aluminum providing dramatic views. An elevated patio off of the south side of the building further blurs the line between indoors and outdoors. The tasting room was built by R&H Construction of Portland, Oregon..

    With the opening of Winderlea’s tasting room, Morris and Sweat are releasing their inaugural 2006 vintage made up of 3 bottlings: the 2006 Winderlea® Goldschmidt Pinot noir – a single vineyard designate from their estate vineyard, the 2006 Winderlea® ANA Pinot noir – a single vineyard designate from the highly regarded ANA vineyard which abuts Winderlea®, and the 2006 Winderlea® Inaugural Reserve Pinot noir made up of fruit sourced from the neighboring ANA and Weber vineyards. Acclaimed winemaker Robert Brittan formerly of Stags Leap Winery makes Winderlea® wines.

    Winderlea’s Tasting Room, located at 8905 NE Worden Hill Road in Dundee, will be open Memorial Day through Thanksgiving on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11AM to 4PM. On Fridays during July and August, Winderlea® will offer a 3-course lunch paired with wines for up to 12 guests. These menus will be created and prepared by some of the most popular chefs in the area. Advance reservations will be required.

    All proceeds from the winery’s $10 tasting fee will be donated to ¡Salud! – a unique alliance between Oregon winemakers, Tuality Healthcare and medical professionals to provide education and access to healthcare services for Oregon’s seasonal vineyard workers and their families.

    Winderlea® Wine Company, LLC was founded in 2005 by Donna Morris and Bill Sweat, as an outgrowth of their passion for great Pinot noir. Winderlea® wines will also be available through a limited number of fine wine stores and restaurants as well as online at www.winderlea.com.