Bridgeview Vineyard and Winery
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|Bridgeview Vineyard and Winery|
|Location||Cave Junction, Oregon, USA|
|Varietals||Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot gris, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Müller Thurgau, Muscat (grape and wine)|
|Tasting||open to public|
Bridgeview Vineyard and Winery is one of the largest wineries in Oregon. Located in Cave Junction, Oregon, Bridgeview is noted for their chardonnay, pinot gris and pinot noir. Its 85-acre (340,000 m2) estate in the Illinois Valley is planted in the European style of dense six-foot row and four-foot vine spacing. Bridgeview also has an 80-acre (320,000 m2) vineyard in the Applegate Valley.
Bob and Lelo Kerivan first started in 1986, when they converted a 75-acre (300,000 m2) field in Southern Oregon's Illinois Valley to Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot gris grapes. For Lelo and Bob planted dense rows of vines only six feet apart, instead of the usual 12 that prevails in the United States. The Kerivans not only ignored the criticism, but ventured further from typical American grape-growing practices, pruning each vine to allow just 20 buds, instead of the usual 60 to 80. To outsiders, the couple looked like rebels without a cause.
But in fact, Kerivans were acting on carefully researched plans that were deeply rooted in European tradition. Lelo had grown up in Germany, where dense planting of vineyards is a centuries-old practice. When she and Bob, a Miami air freight executive, decided to retire in the Illinois Valley in 1979 ("the fishing was excellent"), Lelo recognized the region's potential for growing European varietals. "Every German dreams of having a vineyard," laughs Lelo. Her hobby soon outgrew the 2-acre (8,100 m2) yard, and the Kerivans purchased the adjacent field to create Bridgeview Vineyard and Winery. Lelo's son René arrived from Germany in 1980 to play a hands-on role in the family business.
The rebels' approach turned out to be right. Almost overnight, Bridgeview sprang to prominence in the Oregon wine world. Today, the winery has a storage capacity of 300,000+ gallons and a production capacity of 100,000+ cases, which makes Bridgeview one of the largest wineries in Oregon. Bridgeview produces: moderately priced, gracious wines in the varietals of Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Pinot gris, Pinot noir, and Riesling. Bridgeview is most famous for their line of "Blue Moon" Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot noir. Other lines include Black Beauty Merlot and a Premium line that includes Reserve Pinot gris and Reserve Pinot noir.
The winery is still very much a family-run operation, with Bob and Lelo at the helm and René serving as both winemaker and Vice President. Success hasn't changed the Kerivan's original focus on having fun while making wine. Says Lelo, "If I saw this as work, I wouldn't do it!" Bridgeview introduced blue bottles for their "Blue Moon" Riesling and "Blue Moon" Chardonnay, and by using colored, recyclable synthetic corks in some of their bottles.
Blue Moon Riesling
Brideviews Blue Moon Riesling comes in a cobalt blue bottle, that according to Frank J. Prial of the New York Times is an instant attention grabber. The cork is made from the same material used in artificial heart valves, has a brandname of Supremecorq, and is also cobalt blue. Wine Enthusiast Magazine noted the "edgieness" of the bottle while recommending Bridgeview's 2002 Blue Moon Riesling, giving it a score of 87.
- Peterson-Nedry, Judy (1998). Oregon Wine Country. Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-55868-318-1.