About Sass WineryMeet the people responsible for our vineyards and winery.
Tucked into the folds of Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley, small vineyards flourish on land once thought unsuitable for anything but grasses or Christmas trees. Each year, the struggling vines produce tight clusters of grapes that gradually ripen during the long, dry summer. The hazy, warm days and cool nights of autumn – and the big temperature swing between night and day – help the fruit develop layers of flavor and aroma that produce outstanding wines.
Sass Winery is one such place, producing small amounts of handcrafted, high-quality pinot noir, pinot blanc, pinot gris, chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc and rose of gamay noir. We produced only a few hundred cases of wine our first few years and now make about 3,500.
Our winemaking practices help our estate Wild Winds Vineyard, at the winery in the South Salem hills, produce bright, high-toned pinot noir from east and southeast-facing slopes on volcanic soil.
We also purchase fruit from other vineyards, most notably from Walnut Ridge Vineyard, at the south end of the Willamette Valley, which grows pinot noir with deep, dark-fruit notes and hints of spice from sedimentary soils on southwest-facing slopes. Diversity at each site produces elegant, complex, sharply focused wines with impeccable balance of fruit, silky tannins and firm acidity.
Winemaker Jerry Sass, inspired by wines his father made from Finger Lakes grapes in western New York, founded the winery in 1996, believing in natural, non-invasive winemaking. Today we make wine from vineyards that are naturally and sustainably dry-farmed, celebrating every small part of each vineyard’s rich ecosystem.