Notable Contributors


Stephen J Cary

Steve Cary was a well-known and respected member of the Oregon wine industry.  He spent over 33 years working at Yamhill Valley Vineyards, and was the head winemaker there from 1991-2016.  He was 71 when he passed away April 28, 2018.

He started his wine career selling European wines for Henny Hinsdale in Portland.  Then in 1984 he started his own distribution business, Cary Oregon Wines, with the idea of selling Oregon wines outside the state of Oregon. Back in the 1980’s Oregon wines were not well known and difficult to sell.  Cary Oregon Wines helped broaden the market by introducing Oregon wines outside the state which was very important at the time.

In 1978 Cary was one of the original founders of the Steamboat Pinot Noir Conference held at Steamboat Inn on the North Umpqua River in southern Oregon.  This very successful symposium, which continues to this day, brings together Pinot Noir producers from around the world for constructive discussions on how to make great Pinot Noir.

In 1985 Cary proposed, and helped organize, the Oregon-Burgundy Challenge conducted at the International Wine Center in New York City.  Cary believed that the quality of Oregon Pinot Noir was not given the respect it deserved in the wider national and international markets. He suggested a blind comparative tasting between 1983 vintages from Oregon and Burgundy, France. The event was held in September 1985.  The wine judges were asked to identify the origin of each wine and select their three favorites.  The 25 judges could not correctly identify the origin of more than half of the wines.  Oregon wines placed first, second, third and tied for fourth and fifth.  Yamhill Valley Vineyards placed first, Sokol Blosser second, then Adelsheim, Eyrie, and Knudsen Erath. 

Shortly thereafter, a second competition was held and Oregon wines again placed first, second and tied for third.  Oregon wines now gained the respect that Cary had hoped for.

Steve Cary is recognized as a true giant in the industry.
  Charles Coury Nursery