Eyrie Vineyards


  • “A visit to The Eyrie Vineyards and Jason Lett is always a highlight of my 2 weeks in Willamette Valley. Jason pursues his (and his late father’s) vision of viticulture and winemaking with little or no regard to what others are doing, and it seems to work out just fine.” (Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate)
  • “A visit to The Eyrie Vineyards where Jason Lett presides is like getting a history lesson in how wine used to be made (and some might say still should be made). From the grape growing through the elevage, this is an artisanal, non-interventionist, unique operation that continues to turn out some of the most fascinating wines on the planet. Knowing Eyrie Pinot Noir’s propensity for longevity, my drinking windows are likely to seem conservative a decade from now.” (Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate)

Basic Info

Quality winegrowing in America was in its infancy in the 1970’s. The Spurrier tasting in Paris in 1976 gave the first international credibility to California Cabernet and Chardonnay. Three years later, again in Paris, and the following year in Beaune, The Eyrie Vineyards 1975 Pinot noir brought international attention to Oregon, a wine region unfamiliar to almost anyone except a handful of hardy pioneers. With these two tastings, Oregon won its first recognition as the New World home for Pinot noir. In January 1965, after earning a degree in viticulture and enology from UC/Davis, and research in Europe, 25-year old David Lett moved to Oregon “with 3,000 grape cuttings and a theory”. He planted the cuttings in a rented nursery plot, and went looking for the perfect vineyard site. It was the first planting of Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and related varieties in the Willamette Valley, and the first Pinot gris in America. The Eyrie Vineyards, founded by David and Diana Lett in 1966, is located in the Red Hills of Dundee, about 30 miles SW of Portland. It was named for the red-tailed hawks who make their home (EYE-ree) in the fir trees at the top of the first vineyard plantings. The winery is in nearby McMinnville. Total annual production is around 10,000 cases. All wines are estate-grown and produced. In 2005, Jason Lett took over from his father as winemaker and vineyard manager at The Eyrie Vineyards, and continues his family’s pioneering legacy.

Willamette Valley
Sub region:
Dundee Hills
Year founded:
David & Diana Lett
Jason Lett