Grand Cru Wine Tours is proud to be the official tour company of the Carbon Neutral Challenge for Oregon Wineries. The Carbon Neutral Challenge was completed by 14 Oregon wineries, the largest number of wineries working to reduce their carbon footprint in North America. Each winery went through a six step process to reduce their carbon emissions and are leading the way to protect our climate.
As you visit the Carbon Neutral Challenge wineries, we also encourage you to use our Carbon Footprint Calculator, to calculate the footprint of your trip. We have worked with Sustainable Travel International to offer carbon offsets for your trip emissions.
We wanted to highlight the accomplishments of these companies and have developed a suggested set of tours for you. Eight of the wineries are located in the Newberg area. We have designed two suggested itineraries for visiting these wineries. There is also a route for the three in the Salem area, though Mahonia does not have a tasting room.
To help you find each of the wineries we have collaborated with Geovative to create downloadable tour routes. There is one file for the eight wineries around Newberg, and a second file with the other six wineries. The files can be downloaded to certain Garmin, TomTom, IPhone, and windows mobile devices. To access the GPS files, simply click the link in the title of each tour and you will be directed to the download location.
We are also featuring a one time guided tour option on April 16th, 23rd, and 30th, with each day covering one of the three routes.
View Carbon Neutral Challenge Wine Tour – Newberg Day 1 in a larger map
The Allison – The Allison Inn & Spa was selected to host the guests for the Newberg portion of the Carbon Neutral Challenge Wine Tour. The Allison is one of twenty two hotels in the world that have obtained the Gold LEED Certification. The Inn features glass water bottles in the rooms, solar panels and portions of the roof have been covered in sedum. The 85 rooms provide visitors to wine country a luxury stay with a focus on sustainability. The JORY restaurant is located on site and is a great place to have dinner and enjoy their wine list.
Adelsheim – Founded in 1971 Adelsheim is located in the Chehalem Mountains. They are one of the oldest wineries in the Challenge. If you have time, call ahead and set up a winery tour. In additional to Pinot Noir, they have several distinctive white wines, including an Auxerrios. Adelsheim has also completed the LIVE certification.
Soter – Located in the Yamhill-Carlton District, Soter Vineyards was started by Tony and Michelle Soter. Their emphasis is on Pinot Noir, with a small amount of sparkling wine and Cabernet Franc being produced. Please call ahead as Soter is open by appointment only. Soter is also certified LIVE.
Lemelson - Lemelson vineyard and winery is located three miles east of Carlton. They have seven estate vineyards located in three different AVAs and all are organically farmed. Their 50kWh solar electric system provides 40% of the wineries electricity.
Stoller – Stoller was the first gold LEED certified winery in North America. A tour of the winery highlights some of the ways they have found to reduce their environmental impact. The first vines were planted in 1995 and has now grown to 176 acres of vines that are LIVE certified.
View Carbon Neutral Challenge Wine Tour – Newberg Day 2 in a larger map
Sokol Blosser – Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol Blosser started their winery on an abandoned prune orchard, 30 miles southwest of Portland, in 1970. Their son, Alex, and their daughter, Alison, now head the company. They received full USDA organic certification in 2005, and their underground barrel cellar was the first winery building in the country to earn LEED certification. Sokol Blosser is one of Oregon’s oldest wine producers, and was one of the first to be certified Salmon Safe.
Winderlea – Located southwest of Portland, Winderlea is a fairly new winery, but is already getting plenty of attention for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Winderlea is certified LIVE and Salmon Safe. Its founders, Bill Sweat and Donna Morris, use Biodynamic farming to promote the sustainability of their winery.
Chehalem – Chehalem is located in Newburg, in the Northern Willamette Valley, and is Salmon Safe and LIVE certified. The winery focuses on structured, intensely fruited wines, many of which are certified by the Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine Program. Of Chehalem’s four estate vineyards, one is farmed entirely organically, and another two are not treated with herbicides. Chehalem uses only their own fruit, and is continually experimenting with processes to let its full potential shine through.
Rex Hill – A to Z Wineworks/Rex Hill source their grapes from over 90 vineyards, all of whom they encourage to become certified by OCSW. To support sustainable wine production and increase the quality of the grapes they source, A to Z Wineworks/Rex Hill often compensates vineyards for the time and effort certification requires. Both A to Z and Rex Hill produce mainly Pinot Noir, but A to Z is also championing the production of some new Chardonnay clones in Oregon.
View Carbon Neutral Challenge Wine Tour – Salem in a larger map
Grand Hotel Salem – Located in downtown Salem, The Grand Hotel was selected to host guests of the Carbon Neutral Challenge Wine Tours. The Grand Hotel is involved with a number of initiatives, including the Earthwise certification, recycling soap with Clean The World, and purchasing wind power. Bentley’s Grill is located inside of the hotel and is a great spot to have dinner after your tour.
Left Coast Cellars – Left Coast Cellars is located just north of Rickreall on Highway 99. Enjoy the drive up the property overlooking their 360 acre property. A variety of projects have been undertaken, including capturing spring water for irrigation, planting a variety of trees for truffle cultivation, bee hives, and 83kWh of solar electric systems. Plan to visit around lunch time and grab a bite to eat from the Caf‚.
Mahonia – Located in South Salem, Mahonia was started over 20 years ago by John D. Miller, one of Salem’s pioneers of sustainability. The winery is Salmon Safe and LIVE certified, runs its equipment on locally sourced biodiesel, and supplies most of its power with a 16kW solar array. Due to their small size and eco-friendly practices, Mahonia produces a small quantity of high quality wine and does not have a tasting room yet. Mahonia’s wines are available through its office and a few distributers in Eugene and Portland.
Willamette Valley Vineyards – Salmon Safe and LIVE certified since 1997, Willamette Valley Vineyards strong commitment to sustainability is manifested through its bottle return program; its involvement with corkreharvest.org, a nationwide cork recycling campaign; and its innovative employee biodiesel program. Willamette Valley Vineyard produces mainly Pinot Noir, but also offers a Chardonnay, a Pinot Gris, and a Riesling. The vineyard and winery can be found just south of Salem.
Other Participating Wineries
Cooper Mountain – Resting on the slopes of an ancient volcano southwest of Portland, Cooper Mountain has been certified organic since 1995 and earned its Biodynamic farming certification in 1999. Dr. Robert Gross and his wife, Corrine, planted the vineyard’s first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines in Cooper Mountain’s unique soil in 1978, and they currently produce several wines, as well as balsamic vinegar.
King Estate – Located just southwest of Eugene, King Estate has an organic farm on-site that supplies many of the vegetables for its well-known fine dining venue, The Restaurant and Wine Bar. King Estate also contributes a significant amount of produce to local organizations that provide hunger relief. All of King Estate’s grapes are organically grown, and the winery produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and a limited amount of Chardonnay.
Abacela – The climate of southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley is comparable to that of north and northwest Spain, and Abacela utilizes this climate to its fullest potential to produce atypical Oregonian wines such as Tempranillo and Garnacha. The winery’s founders, Earl and Hilda Jones, planted their first Tempranillo vines in 1995, and in 1997 they released the first commercial Tempranillo ever produced in the Pacific Northwest. The winery is LIVE certified and salmon safe.