White Oak Orchard and Vineyard

From John, June 8th, 2021

Julian & Leila picking cider apples

One of the longtime strengths of the Oregon Wine Industry has been our parade of dynamic characters.  And Alan Foster, the owner of White Oak Orchard qualifies for this list.  Alan started planting one of the finest cider apple orchards in Western America in 1989 using budwood from Cornell University which was augmented along the way with material from England and Normandy.  He later added Perry Pears from the germ plasm repository in Corvallis as well as from old trees in Southern Oregon.

But Alan, as is his way, was far ahead of the curve and the market for fine English-style cider was weak.  So in 2006, he ripped out a portion of the trees (he says “not the best trees”) and planted just under 2 acres of Pinot noir and 2/3 of an acre of the noble Nebbiolo grape variety.  The soil at White Oak is marine sediment in origin so strikingly different from what is found at both Clos Electrique and Abbey Ridge.

For over 10 years Cameron has been buying all of Alan’s fruit for our Ribbon Ridge Pinot noir and part of our Nebbiolo blend.

When the tiny 2020 vintage arrived, our son Julian Paul decided that it was time to try making traditional cider and perry from Alan’s legendary cider orchard.  While the work is in progress as of this writing, we will soon be releasing Julian’s first creative endeavor in the world of cider.

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