The Dukes Family
Pat and Jackie Dukes moved a decade ago to the peace, solitude and serenity of the vineyard which has been life changing. No longer fighting the hustle and bustle of the city, a more relaxed and peaceful life has emerged here on the vineyard. Life amongst the vines is highly rewarding as the vineyard takes shape each growing season. There’s something special about watching the vines rise from the slumber of winter, the clusters emerge in the spring and the grapes develop toward phenolic ripeness through the summer and into the fall. Each year, we are so thankful to be a part of this amazing circle of life.
In 2018 we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary, having raised two wonderful children. Tom, the eldest, after closing out his time flying with the Army and graduating Embrey Riddle University, is back in Oregon working on his masters degree at Portland State University. Alyssa, having graduated from college with degrees in Nutrition and Nursing, is back at Arizona State working to become a Nurse Practitioner. Both, Tom and Alyssa, help us here at the winery when their schedules allow. We on the other hand wake up each morning to a view of the vineyard, the winery and a life we could have never dreamt of.
Dogs and vineyards seem to go hand in hand. With two Labradors, a visit to the vineyard is surely coupled with a friendly face, a wet tongue and wagging tail. Pearl, our yellow lab, and Emma, our silver lab, love life in the vines and can be found most days in the vineyards chasing small fury creatures or swimming in the pond…we go through a lot of towels. Nick Chan, our Great Pyrenees, can be found on the hill majestically guarding the goats and sheep. Life of a dog on the vineyard is pretty darn good.
We are constantly striving to better understand the unique characteristics of the vineyard. As we enter our 15th vintage, we continue to benefit in this exploration from an experienced and highly qualified team. The team members embrace our passion and dedication to quality in everything we do with a singular goal of producing exceptional wines that are a true representation of their source, our vineyard!
Kelly Kidneigh - Winemaker
Kelly is an exciting, talented and passionate wine maker. Kelly strives for the true expression of the vineyard and vintage in her winemaking. Her style is hands off while remaining attentive to detail in every step in the process and thereby intervening only when necessary. Kelly’s focus is on balance. With balance you achieve the elegance and finesse needed for a truly great pinot noir.
Our relationship with Kelly began in 2006 with a small production, special project (crafting our oak barrel fermentation Nipple Hill pinot noirs) while she was working at Lemelson. The Old World style of these Nipple Hill wines are proving to be exceptional. Beginning with the 2008 vintage, Kelly took over responsibility for winemaking operations.
Kelly Kidneigh moved to the Willamette Valley in 1998 with her eye on winemaking. She began her journey as a harvest intern at WillaKenzie Estate. The internship evolved into the vineyard and after a year with the vines she continued her enological exploration with David Lett at Eyrie, as well as a stint at Torii Mor, and Tyee Cellars while pursuing her BS in fermentation science from OSU. Upon graduation, Kelly accepted a position as an Assistant Winemaker at Lemelson Vineyards..
Stirling Fox - Vineyard Manager
Stirling Wine Grape, LLC (SWiG) is a highly experienced and dynamic organization managing high quality vineyards for wineries and site owners in the North Willamette Valley. Stirling Fox, Owner of SWiG, has a bachelors degree in Food and Wine Sciences from Oregon State University with 30 years experience in Oregon viticulture. Through this experience, he has gained a thorough understanding of western Oregon viticulture and especially the factors affecting the quality of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay clones and varietals.
Stirling is committed to progressive, precise and quality-oriented vineyard management practices. He is a strong advocate of sustainable farming practices through the internationally certified LIVE program (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe farming practices. He has been an active member of LIVE since its inception and has served as the program’s past president.