Or everything you’d want to know about St. Josef’s (and a little bit more). Planted in 1978 St Josef’s is one of the pioneering wineries in the Northwest and one of the first 25 in Oregon.
What people are saying about us….
“Of all the picturesque wineries in the Willamette Valley for family owned coziness try St Josef’s…we’ve yet to find a better place to sip”- Portland Monthly
’4 stars’- Yelp, ’4 1/2 stars’- Travelscape, ’86 Points’- Cork’d, ‘Top 10 Secret Sweet Spots in Oregon’- Mt Hood Territory
St. Josef’s History
Like many pioneering wineries we have a story. Josef the owner and winemaker was born in Hungary and grew up along the shores of Lake Constance in Southern Germany. Josef had wine in his veins as his grandfather had a winery in the picturesque valleys of Central Hungary. (Which prior to the world wars was one of the premier winemaking areas of Europe- but that’s another story).
After studying and then apprenticing in baking Josef immigrated to the states in the late 50s where he pursued a number of interests in the restaurant & food business in both New York City and Chicago. Opportunity for new adventures and land brought him to the NW where he established a string of European bakeries. Always hard working and ambitious he had a vision to plant, cultivate & produce high quality wines. Josef & Lilli worked long days at the bakeries and even longer nights and weekends establishing a farm & vineyards. After more than a decade of baking across Portland Josef finally turned in his baker’s apron and the smell of rising dough for the full-time use of rubber boots and aromas of wine fermenting.
Josef and Lilli purchased acreage in the Willamette Valley about 30 miles South of Portland in the ‘garden spot’ next to the farming towns of Canby and Aurora, OR. Known in history books as the end of the Oregon Trail, the Willamette Valley boasts rich farmlands and favorable weather. Because of the soil content, combined with hot days, cool nights and abundant water Josef realized it was an ideal place for an aspiring vintner. The first vineyards were planted in 1978 and after a few years of hard work and vision; they produced the first commercial vintage in 1983. Making St. Josef’s one of Oregon’s true wine pioneers, producing quality wines many years before the world had heard of the outstanding varietals of the region.
At first Josef concentrated on producing wines that he was familiar with from the days of his youth. For whites light, off dry Rieslings and Gewürztraminers, as well as Alsatian style Pinot Gris. And for Reds- the up & coming Pinot Noir as well as the bold full-bodied reds similar to his grandfather produced in Hungary. (His 1983 & 85 Cabernets won gold medals in the NY Wine show). Now St Josef’s makes small batches of 5 white wines and 5 reds, along with a few barrel select reserve selections.
We are celebrating 30 years in the business and proud to be family owned & operated with 3 generations involved in the winery & vineyards. Please come visit and enjoy the wine and the people. The St Josef family is what you’d expect to find in the wine business- hard working & fun-loving people that strive to make the next vintage the best one yet…