“Iris Vineyards perches in the iris-dotted hills at the southern edge of the Willamette Valley, an 870-acre, high-elevation preserve dedicated to the ancient Greek concept of areté – the tireless striving to achieve one’s fullest potential. Areté guides the proprietors Richard Boyles and Pamela Frye, and winemaker Aaron Lieberman to create fresh, fruit-forward wines that truly honor their source.”
“Richard Boyles and Pamela Frye spent several years searching for a site with the potential to create great Pinot Noir. In 1992, they found a property in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Mountain Range at the south end of the Willamette Valley. It had been clear-cut, exposing sloping hillsides, promising soils, and site’s immense potential for the Burgundian and Alsatian varietals Richard and Pamela loved most. Richard and Pamela committed to replanting 500 acres of the estate to Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine for timber harvesting, and to restoring a diverse forest habitat with multiple native tree and understory species represented.”
“Winemaker Aaron Lieberman joined Iris as the head of winemaking in 2008, and has spearheaded the winery’s significant quality advances over the last decade. Like Richard, Aaron has always approached his life and work with areté in mind – striving each day to improve and achieve the best possible result.”
“Iris Vineyards’ winemaking program empowers Aaron to apply areté in every aspect of the work. He describes himself as a shepherd, guiding rather than forcing nature in the direction he wants it to go. This work begins, of course, with growing the best possible grapes. Aaron collaborates with vineyard manager Nathan Sparrow to optimize the growth, health, and maturity of each block of the Chalice Vineyard estate. He also works closely with other Willamette Valley growers and Rogue Valley growers who produce the warm-climate varieties for some of Iris Vineyards’ wine club selections.”
“Aaron’s goal: bright, fruit-forward wines with crisp acidity and low alcohol that honor their origins and deliver exceptional value.”
“Under the Iris Vineyards name, the winery produces a wide range of red, white, and rosé wines from the Chalice Vineyard, as well as from selected vineyards around the state. The Areté label represents the reserve, or premium level of wines – truly the best of the estate.” The Areté label also represents Iris Vineyards’ premium sparkling wine program all done in-house on the Estate.
Earlier this month Iris Vineyards opened a new Wine Bar in Downtown Springfield, Oregon on historic Main Street. Winemaker Aaron has created a selection of wine-based cocktails for the Wine Bar.