Great Oregon Wine Company buys Duck Pond Cellars

As part of the latest development in Oregon’s booming wine industry, the Great Oregon Wine Company has purchased Duck Pond Cellars, a family-owned winery in the Willamette Valley known for its Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The deal includes the Duck Pond winery and tasting room in the Dundee Hills sub-appellation, as well as 300 acres of vineyards in Oregon. Duck Pond staff, including winemaker Trevor Chlanda, will remain at the winery. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Doug and Jo Ann Fries founded Duck Pond Cellars after moving their family from California’s Central Valley to Oregon in the early 1980s. Lifelong farmers and wine enthusiasts, they purchased land along the river Willamette in Dundee and planted a hazelnut orchard and a 13-acre vineyard. In 1993, the family launched Duck Pond Cellars, focusing exclusively on pinot noir and pinot gris. The family owns and operates six vineyards in Oregon and produces approximately 50,000 cases of wine per year.

The Great Oregon Wine Company had bought grapes from time to time from the Fries family and decided to acquire Duck Pond because of the quality of their vineyards. He also lacked space in his basement. “Their vineyards are so precise and immaculate,” said Ari Walker, CEO of Integrated Beverage Group, the parent company of Great Oregon Wine Company. “[The Fries’] are just in a league of their own.”

The Duck Pond sale includes three estate vineyards in the Willamette and Umpqua valleys. Its facility in the Dundee Hills will help increase the Great Oregon Wine Company’s production capacity to more than 300,000 cases of wine per year, making it a major player in Oregon.

The Fries family will no longer be involved in the winery after the transition. “With their extensive experience in Oregon, we are confident that Great Oregon Wine Company will continue the quality legacy of Duck Pond Cellars,” Greg Fries, president of Fries Family Businesses, said in a statement.

The family will continue to produce wines at their Desert Wind vineyard in Washington State. Founded in 2001, the winery works with a range of grape varieties including Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from three vineyards in the Wahluke Slope appellation area. They also own a tasting room and an inn in Prosser, Wash.

Founded in 2015, Denver, Colorado-based Integrated Beverage Group has a portfolio of nearly a dozen different brands in California and Oregon, including Replica, Rascal, Chime and Swing Set. That same year, he purchased the former Stone Wolf Vineyards in McMinnville, Oregon, and changed the name to Great Oregon Wine Company.

The company plans to invest in the Duck Pond winemaking facility and will expand the wholesale distribution and consumer side of the business. He is also looking for more opportunities in Oregon. “I think that’s where we’ll probably continue to place our bets,” Walker said.

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