Gresser Vineyard was founded in 1998 when the rootstock for the grapes was selected and planted by Paul Gates. The grapes have been tended by hand ever since by family members, as we are 100% family owned and operated. After the passing of Paul Gates in early 2017, his sons and daughter in law Nic, Sam, and Amanda have taken over the business and are continuing to grow grapes and make wine, as thankfully Paul passed on his knowledge and expertise to us.
Paul started his love of growing grapes and making wine as he grew up in California wine country. He started his lifetime's preoccupation with wine by helping to prune his father's small vineyard at an early age. When he was of age he worked various wine jobs in California including sales, field hand, wine store clerk and assistant winemaker. After receiving his enology degree from California State University Fresno, Paul moved to northwest Oregon and over the years worked as winemaker at several wineries in the region. He began looking for the ideal place to grow Pinot noir, and found it in the rolling foothills southwest of Portland. He named it Gresser Vineyard after his maternal great-grandmother, of German descent.
Paul passed away in early 2017 and left his business to his children, who are continuing to operate Gresser Vineyard and keep it in the family per Paul's wishes.
Katherine Huben Gresser and her husband John were first generation Americans, whose parents immigrated to Wisconsin from Europe. Paul never met his great-grandfather, but has clear memories of Great-Grandma Gresser. She was a petite, strong, feisty woman. One of his strongest memories from his early childhood is when she chased him out of her flower garden, spewing fluent German.