The vines located at Risdall Ranch Winery have been on Santa’s good list since 1973. That’s when the property’s original owners, Harvey and Miki Shafer of Shafer Vineyard Cellars planted some of the Willamette Valley’s oldest vines. In addition to a love for Oregon Pinot, Harvey and Miki also believed in the year-round holiday spirit. Connected to their winery and tasting room, the couple set up a year-round Christmas store. No matter the month, it was hard to resist the festive collection of handcrafted ornaments from all over Europe. Today, the tradition continues with the all-year Christmas spirit with Risdall Ranch Winery.
Continuing the Tradition of Family, Wine, and the Christmas Spirit
When Miki Shafer was ready to retire in 2016, she handed both the wine and holiday store reins to the Risdall family. Owner Bob Risdall—and his winemaker son, Emery Risdall—hailed from a family ranch near the Black Hills in South Dakota. Their rancher roots (hence the name Risdall Ranch) may seem disparate from Oregon’s forested scene. However, the picturesque vineyards nestled in the foothills of Gales Creek Valley spoke to them. Plus, Emery was ready to put his degree in viticulture and enology from UC-Davis to good use.
Canned Wine for the Holidays
The wintry vibes of the year-round Christmas store are only amplified by Risdall Ranch Winery carrying on the tradition of the former Shafer Vineyard Cellars’ “Holiday Magic” seasonal release. The drink is one that long-time visitors know, love and still expect through Risdall Ranch. Their spin, however, is a canned version called the Winter Glühwein. This is not just a seasonal blend of Pinot; instead, taste a traditional European-style mulled wine. The estate Pinot Gris is transformed into a holiday treat with actual cranberry and a mix of warm spices. Risdall Ranch Winery suggests cracking a chilled can for easy serving at a party—or gently warm the contents with an aromatic orange peel. Either way, the drink peps up any winter outing that calls for libations.
While a visit to Risdall Ranch Winery is high on any winter to-do list, we think that it’s also a great stop in the spring, summer and fall. As part of the Old Vines Wine Trail, discover Risdall Ranch Winery as one of the many vineyard estates with some of the Willamette Valley’s oldest—and most interesting—vines. Also nearby, make a pit stop at Blooming Junction nursery for a wreath, bulbs, bouquet, or pumpkin (depending on the season, of course). Soon, you’ll seamlessly transition out of the country roads and into lush lodging choices nearby.
(Note: Risdall Ranch is closed during the month of January)