When we were up in Willamette Valley, Oregon. we attended the Uncommon Wine Festival at Vista Hills Vineyard. Vista Hills Winemaker and GM, Dave Petterson took a little time out of a busy day in the cellar to talk with me about the origins of the event before we traveled up to the festival.
John and Nancy McClintock, the owners of Vista Hills started planting grapes in 1997. They started as many vineyard owners do, simply as growers. Around 2006 they started thinking about making wine and building their own label and tasting room. They brought on Dave Petterson as their GM and Winemaker to do just that in 2007.
Dave has been part of the Oregon Wine community for 20 years and he has always seen it as a supportive community. As a small winery, they were constantly looking at ways to get their wines out there and with the tight wine community that the Willamette Valley was at the time (and still is),they knew lots of people who were looking for the same thing.
In 2000 there were 139 Wineries in Oregon, in 2007 about 350 and today 725.
(Information from Oregon Wine Industry Statistics from the Oregon Wine Board)
In 2010 Vista Hills started the “Uncommon Wine Festival” to give themselves and other small producers they knew, a venue to get their wines tasted and seen.