Like many pioneering wineries, we have a story. A story of vision, love of the land, hard work, and personal pride. Josef Fleischmann owner winemaker was born in Hungary with wine in his veins; his grandfather had a winery in the picturesque valleys of Central Hungary. (Prior to the wars Hungary was considered among the premier winemaking areas of the world- but that’s another story). Josef & family, like many entrepreneurs, fled Hungary after WWII when the Communists took over and he grew up along the shores of Lake Constance in Southern Germany. After studying and apprenticing in baking he immigrated to the US. He soon found his way to Chicago as a professional baker and enjoyed life in the large German community playing soccer and more. He met a girl, Lilli who also had come over from Germany after fleeing the eastern bloc.
Opportunity for new adventures brought them out for a visit to Oregon one April in the early 1960s. After seeing the verdant green and uncrowded roads (after months of winter in Chicago) they proclaimed it Shangri-La and made plans to go west. Josef put a bid in on a farm between Canby & Aurora in May and was surprised when it was accepted late in October. They made the move with a 3-year-old and newborn on a mattress in the back of a van to a small farmhouse on a dirt road in the heart of the Willamette Valley. Known in history books as the end of the Oregon Trail, the Willamette Valley boasts rich farmlands and favourable weather with warm days and cool nights. Because of the soil content, combined with hot days, cool nights and abundant water Josef realized it was an ideal place for an aspiring vintner.