Myron Redford moved to Amity, Oregon after learning wine making in the early 1970s from Lloyd Woodburne and Neal Peck while working for them at the Associated Vintners Winery in Bellevue, Washington. That initial job was fortuitous happenstance; because of a chance placement of diners at the University of Washington’s Faculty Club in 1970, Redford overheard Woodburne and Peck talking about their winery. He interrupted and asked to visit, which led to a part-time job, and for the next three years he learned wine making under these two pioneers.
In 1974, Redford and his partner Janis Checchia purchased an existing vineyard in Amity, Oregon. The original owners of the property had planted Pinot noir and Riesling vines in 1971 and 1972, and Redford “fell in love with the view and the way the vineyard was situated” (Myron Redford, July 2010). The next two years were spent learning farming and preparing for their first vintage of wine. Redford built the winery himself in 1976, and while the winery was still under construction, he and his wife produced Amity Vineyards’ first commercial wine. In 1980, Amity Vineyards’ Pinot noirs won several awards, the first of many to come. Redford became the first U.S. producer of true Gamay Noir in 1988, and Amity Vineyards is still the leader with this variety. In 1990, they produced Oregon’s first sulfite-free wine from organically grown grapes. In 1995, Redford was again ahead of the times, recognizing Oregon’s potential to produce excellent Pinot Blanc, when he grafted all of Amity’s Chardonnay and switched to Pinot Blanc. Today, Amity Vineyards is a small, family-run operation, on 15 acres of land, with a production capacity of roughly 34,000 gallons annually. Amity’s philosophy is that wine should be shared with family and friends. Redford looks to the future of wine growing in Oregon, believing that “the real soul and passion of the industry is the young people trying to find their way in” (Myron Redford, July 2010).
Some items in this collection were initially digitized as part of the Oregon Wine History Project™, a collaborative research venture from the Linfield Center for the Northwest. For additional historical background and collection inventory, please see the Guide to the Amity Vineyards Collection 1974-2003.