Terry McIntyre was interested in wine and wine making since his early 20’s. He came through Oregon in the mid 70’s and fell in love with the area. Terry and Carol purchased their Carlton home in 1994. After retiring in 2001 from construction management, he started volunteering with several area winemakers. For 8 years, he worked hard and learned the industry, starting as “cellar rat” and eventually becoming a winemaker. He learned the trade from “the good ole boys” thus creating his own very hands-on, artistic style.
After settling in Carlton, Carol started her law practice in McMinnville. They originally had fallo deer on the property, later moving in cows, not knowing that the livestock were preparing the soil and fertilizing their future vineyard. While building a local winery, Terry had the opportunity to rescue 550 Tempranillo plants from the compost pile, and decided to clear the field and prepare the site for the first vines.
While building their own label and anticipating that first harvest, Terry and Carol purchased fruit from Spofford Station in the Walla Walla AVA, producing Merlot and Syrah. The first official release of the Stone Griffon label was the 2008 Merlot, and the 2012 Carol Jean Estate Reserve Pinot Noir and the 2012 Tempranillo were the first releases off of the estate. Every wine received rave reviews and they knew they were on their way to something special.
The Stone Griffon label is named after the “mascot” in the Tasting Room. It is a cement statue purchased on a hunting trip to South Dakota. Carol saw it and immediately knew she had to have it, as it is on the seal of her Alma Mater, Reed College, in Portland. At a “Name the Baby” party at the house, preparing for the release of the 2012 Carol Jean, a friend helped come up with the name when he saw the statue. Terry tells the story like no one can! The image on the label was drawn by Carol when she was in high school.
about the Vineyard
The vineyard is gently sloping, Woodburn silty loam soil, deposited here in the Willamette Valley by the Missoula Floods. Although the vineyard is located within Carlton city limits, it is considered Willamette Valley AVA, rather than Yamhill/Carlton AVA, solely due to the restrictions of elevation requirements. The vineyard is planted on a 3X5, 6X5, and 7X5 pattern. This is similar to what you would find in Burgundy. The first blocks were planted in 2007, starting with the original 550 plants, now 2 ½ acres of Tempranillo. In 2010 we planted 20,000 vines. There are seven different clones of Pinot Noir; Pommard, Wadenswil, Dijon clones, 113, 115, 667,777, and 828. 1/3 of an acre of Riesling was planted in 2012, and two rows of Chardonnay. We believe our planting of Tempranillo is the largest in the Willamette Valley that we are aware of. Plans are to extend the vineyard by another acre, as time allows. Rootstock is already in the ground, ready for grafting. Five acres are on the estate, four are on the adjoining leased property.
Dustin Miller joined Terry as Vineyard Manager in 2012 to assist with the vineyard, equipment, and winemaking. He also brings in crews when needed for pruning and harvest.
Production, aging, and storage takes place on the estate property and in a rented facility in McMinnville.