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|Archives - June 2008|
|Sunday, June 01, 2008|
Going for the Grape
More and more acreage around the state is converting to vineyards, and it’s changing the face of agriculture, land values and the environment.
By Jamie Hartford
Christie and Dick Reed’s home on Blue Chip Farm in Hood River used to be surrounded by eight acres of Gala apple trees. But the husband and wife, who were formerly partners in a local winery and purchased their own vineyard in 1998, envisioned another use for the east-facing slope where their orchard lay. Eight years ago, they cleared the trees and replaced them with rows of pinot noir grapes.
“It was a prudent financial decision at Blue Chip Farm to pull out the Gala apples because there was no way we could sell the apples profitably,” Christie Reed says.
The grapes are a different story. Last year, Oregon wine-grape growers received an average of $1,880 per ton for their harvests, according to the NASS report. Clive Kaiser, a professor with the Oregon State University extension service in Milton-Freewater, estimates that the return on each acre grown is around $5,000. Processed into wine, though, the value can increase five to 20 times.
Property values in prime grape-growing areas are climbing. In Yamhill County, which — at 5,550 acres — leads the state in vineyard acreage, the average value per plantable acre increased more than 45% from 2004 to 2006, according to Northwest Farm Credit Services.
That’s keeping Mike McLain, a broker with Albany-based vineyard real estate company McLain & Associates, busy.
Others, though, like the Reeds, are in the wine industry to turn a profit.
“We’re not doing this as hobbyists or just to put our name on a label,” Christie Reed says. “We’re trying to run it as a business.”
“We’ve seen a complete uplifting of Walla Walla,” he says. “Tourism is booming. People are coming in from all over the place. That’s been a major spinoff for the valley.”
But tourism also has its downsides. Besides dollars, tourists also bring traffic, and attempts to accommodate them bring development to land previously used for agriculture.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
There are more than 10 million former military members working in the United States.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Charlie Hales has long viewed sound urban planning as the route to salvation: social, economic and environmental. This week, the mayor's city design philosophy got the nod of approval from a bona fide spiritual authority, Pope Francis.
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