New Oregon winery looks to solve the industry’s custom crush challenges
Dundee, Oregon (November 15, 2022) — Vinovate Custom Wine Services, a new premier winemaking facility, estate vineyard, and enology think tank in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, announces the forthcoming opening of a new winery solely dedicated to small-production custom crush winemaking.
Located in the heart of the Dundee Hills AVA, Vinovate will satisfy the need for a modern Willamette Valley winery driven by top-tier winemakers, solely dedicated to custom crush wines of the highest quality, and to providing a cohesive and deeply satisfying experience for its customers.
Founded by Rob Townsend, Pam Turner, and Scott Baldwin, longtime investors in Yamhill County’s economic and cultural landscape (Deponte Cellars, Lonesome Rock Vineyard, Carlton Bakery), and celebrated Winemaker Bryan Weil (Alexana Winery, Wine Spectator Top 100 Winemaker 2021), Vinovate will open its doors ahead of the 2023 harvest.
Custom crush partnerships offer those who want to make wine with the expertise, facilities, and resources needed to do so. Most partnerships connect grape growers without winemaking equipment or a dedicated winemaker with a bonded winery capable of processing fruit into wine.
Some Willamette Valley wineries offer custom crush winemaking on a contract basis, but these partnerships usually exist to bolster the winery’s cash flow and ultimately to allow further focus on their own brand and estate winemaking. Because a custom crush client’s wines are not the primary focus of wineries offering these contracts, there are often mixed reviews of the experience.
“We offer all the collaboration of great custom crush partnerships with more cohesion and without the chaos,” says Townsend. “I look forward to working with our terrific team to create a winery and regenerative vineyard that our customers will be proud to have produce their wines.”
Designed by architect Juancarlos Fernandez, Vinovate’s new 24,000-square-foot facility features state-of-the-art design and technology, including a two-story, gravity-flow production space with an elevated crush pad, ample climate-controlled fruit chilling areas, various-sized blending tanks, and winemaking equipment for both sparkling and still wines. Its multiple barrel rooms provide space to produce and age 25,000 to 50,000 cases of wine annually.
The 40-acre estate vineyard will eventually provide an additional fruit source for wines made at Vinovate and is being planted and managed with a regenerative organic approach to maximize carbon capture. The facility utilizes solar power, rainwater collection, and wastewater recycling, while vineyard stewards will enlist the help of grazing animals to clear invasive vegetation in the place of engine-powered machines.
Vinovate aspires to be an incubator for wine industry best practices in sustainability, diversity, and high-end winemaking, all driven by Managing Partner and Winemaker Bryan Weil.
Weil has worked for some of the best wineries up and down the West Coast. A graduate of Oregon State University, Bryan earned his degree in Enology and Viticulture in 2008 and quickly rose to prominence in the Willamette Valley. Today’s top wine critics routinely award Bryan’s wines 95+ points and in 2021, Wine Spectator listed a pinot noir made by Bryan as #14 on their annual Top 100, making it the highest-rated pinot noir on their list of the best wines in the world.
“These are exciting times for the Oregon wine industry, so I’m beyond thrilled to be opening Vinovate now,” says Weil. We’re building a state-of-the-art winery and hiring the most experienced team possible to serve premium wine brands with complex custom crush needs. I can’t wait to get started.”
At Vinovate, Weil oversees the pressing, fermentation, aging, blending, and bottling of all wines crafted in the facility. Moreover, he fosters a collaborative and creative winemaking process to ensure the finished wines are reflective of the client’s vision, illustrative of their terroir, and of the best possible quality.
A partnership with Gauge Branding even allows Vinovate’s clients access to luxury wine branding expertise and marketing services including website development, social media management, label and collateral design, and more.
Vinovate is already attracting up-and-coming wine brands and beloved historic producers alike, recently announcing 2023 partnerships with luxury newcomer Ambar Estate, popular boutique brands Rain Dance Vineyards and Bellinger Estates, and esteemed iconic Knudsen Vineyards.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Vinovate on the production of Knudsen Vineyards wines starting with the 2023 vintage,” says Page Knudsen Cowles, Managing Partner at Knudsen Vineyards. “As a pioneering Oregon vineyard, we have been a leader in viticultural innovation for over 50 years. This new winemaking relationship with Vinovate builds on that legacy and furthers our founding mission to produce truly world-class wines.”
About Vinovate Custom Wine Services
Vinovate is the Willamette Valley’s premier winery, estate vineyard, and enology think tank focused on small-lot custom crush winemaking, a method that connects people who want to make wines of unparalleled quality with the expertise, equipment, and resources to do so. Vinovate was founded by longtime contributors to rural Oregon’s cultural and economic landscape, Rob Townsend, Pam Turner, and Scott Baldwin, and celebrated Oregon Winemaker Bryan Weil. Together, they are changing the perception of custom crush winemaking in the Willamette Valley, offering all the collaboration of great custom crush agreements with more cohesion and without the chaos. Vinovate’s state-of-the-art winemaking facility will eventually produce 25,000 to 50,000 cases of still and sparkling wines annually and aspires to be an incubator for best practices in sustainability, diversity, and quality winemaking. Opening in time for the 2023 grape harvest, Vinovate has already announced it will work with historic Willamette Valley producer Knudsen Vineyards, highly anticipated newcomer Ambar Estate, and beloved boutique brands like Rain Dance Vineyards and Bellingar Estates.
For more information, please visit vinovatewineservices.com.