Wall Street Journal: Oregon Vineyards Draw Out-of-State Buyers

The drought in California and affordable acreage are prompting explosive growth in the market for Oregon vineyards. Home buyers here opt for homes that blend into the landscape.

By Nancy Keates
Oct. 15, 2015 9:51 a.m. ET

From a single-wide trailer to a 3,000-square-foot contemporary home overlooking more than 60 acres of vineyards, Jim Bernau and his Oregon winery have come a long way over three decades.

Mr. Bernau, owner of one of the state’s top-producing wineries, Willamette Valley Vineyards , spent about $750,000 in 2013 to build a custom home in the Salem Hills area of Oregon. The home has walls of glass, an enormous master suite and two guest suites.

“Our dreams have gotten bigger,” says Mr. Bernau, 62, who shares the home with his fiancée, Jan Green. In the past month they have raised more than $4 million in private funding and plan to open two new wineries.

Since starting out in 1983, Mr. Bernau has witnessed the explosive growth of winemaking in the state. Oregon ranks No. 3 among U.S. wineries, behind California and Washington, according to the National Association of American Wineries, a trade group.

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Molly Bailey

Meet the Maker. I'm Molly, and I'm a Maker. I like to make things and make things happen. I live in Oregon wine country south of Portland, with my husband, dog and cat. I am a graduate of George Fox University with a degree in Business Communication. My work and personal experience at a number of great organizations (Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon's sports commission, Red Bull North America to name a few) has prepared me for bigger and better projects. Working with a small group of clients allows me to provide them top-notch service. I get excited to be a part of events, marketing projects, films, and other passionate endeavors. Let's keep stoking the fire of creativity. If we haven't met, let's get coffee or an IPA! Among the doers, the thinkers and the dreamers are the makers…