A white oak on the edge of Soter's vineyards.
A white oak on the edge of Soter’s vineyards.

Oregon Wine Press focused on many producers in Yamhill-Carlton in their article about the effort to revive the Oregon White Oak population in Willamette Valley. A Mighty Tall Task outlines the work of many of our member wineries in this historic endeavor.

White oaks filled the Willamette Valley in 1900, but today only 3% of the historic Quercus garryana population remains. The Willamette Valley Oak Accord was formed with about 40 original signatories who promised to preserve oaks on their property, with many going farther with replanting and restoring the habitats that foster oak savannas. Patty Mamula’s article in Oregon Wine Press focuses on a few of those signatories: Soter Vineyards, Fairsing Vineyard, and MonksGate Vineyard. You can read more about their efforts and the profound belief in restoring oaks that many wineries have in common in the article.

Mamula highlighted Soter’s 35 acres that are under a preservation program, and the presence of both oak savannas (widely spaced canopies) and more dense oak woodland (densely planted oaks create a different environment) on the Mineral Springs Ranch property. Soter has planted nearly 100 white oaks in the last year alone.

Fairsing Vineyard is a certified American Tree Farm, but they had to replant a lot of their 100 acres of forest since the 200-acre property was clear cut when Mike and Mary Ann McNally bought it in 2005. The McNallys plant many oaks yearly, attempting to find the places on their property that the white oaks like the most.

MonksGate Vineyard has almost 7 acres of preserved oak habitat that they are working to restore, partnering with the Yamhill-Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District through grants provided by NRCS. Rebecca Moore, owner of MonksGate, plans to create an educational hiking trail through this part of their property, so visitors can learn more about Quercus garryana and their preservation.