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.