FEATURED WINERY ~ Airlie Winery
PHILOSOPHY of winery owner Mary Olson
“From farming principles, to treatment of employees, customers, vendors and the animals we share our homes with, sustainability and relationships consume us. We believe in a lifestyle that combines work with play, a dedication to our craft with commitment to share our good fortune with others. A dream lived is a wonderful thing!”
Where did these principles get their roots?
Supportive parents, lifelong friends, and career successes have all shaped Mary Olson’s glass half full attitude in life. She has always found that happiness is directly tied to relationships rather than “stuff.” Her parents, having lived through the depression, also taught their children to save and share when they could.
Expect to be NUDGED when you visit Airlie. All tasting fees (you determine the amount) are donated to local food banks.
Thousands of dollars a year has been donated to the local food banks since she started this program. Mary calls it the Better Business Bureau. “I continue to meet payrolls and pay all bills so I think it is working quite well.”
On sunny days expect conversation and the sharing of your picnic food with fellow tasters.
Mary expanded her outdoor seating a few years ago after a couple showed up one sunny day in April. “They mentioned that they had been to other wineries in the area and that I was the only one that was busy! I looked around and commented, ’I’m not that busy, these people refuse to leave.’ These new customers ended up sharing a picnic that others had brought and have since returned many times with their own basket to share. The art of conversation is not lost it just needs a forum.”
Dogs are welcome to visit along with the humans who feed them.
While working for the telephone company, Mary Olson was transferred to Oregon and fell in love with the state and its wines. “After two years in Oregon I was transferred to Seattle and I started telling my friends that in my next life I was going to buy a winery, get a dog, and move back to Oregon. Maybe it is the unconditional love that dogs give that makes them so attractive. My two Irish Setters, Rocky and Riley, always look forward to the tasters, the other dogs that come to swim in their pond, and most of all the picnics they bring.”
Certified Sustainable & Salmon Safe
Airlie’s estate vineyard, Dunn Forest Vineyard, is certified sustainable LIVE (Low Input Viticulture & Enology) and Salmon Safe. “Our duty to the earth is to think about the least disruptive practices that will produce the best fruit, thus the best wine.” Care is taken so that run off from the vineyard is not harmful to the salmon that Oregonians treasure. A little salmon humor that Mary likes to tell is that the vineyard is salmon safe, except the Pinot noir, because “ Salmon is just delicious with our Pinot noir!”
The town of Airlie has a rich background dating back to the early 1800’s and the Pony Express. Once a Christmas tree farm, the original owners established and began planting Dunn Forest Vineyard in 1983. They founded Airlie Winery in 1986.
“I purchased Airlie Winery and the estate vineyard in 1997. Our Wine maker Elizabeth Clark joined the Airlie Family in 2005 , Sue Shay recently joined the Airlie family as Director of Marketing and Sales, Sebastian, 2003, Rosario, 2006 and Guadalupe 2007 round out the Willamette Valley’s best vineyard crew.
“I had a great 22 year career at the telephone company that resulted in my becoming the first woman to achieve the rank of Vice-President on the technical side of the business. As an English/Political Science major I was dependent on the knowledge and skill of others to teach, coach and enable me to succeed. In 1997 when I decided to change professions dramatically and buy a winery, this ability to learn from others allowed me to check my status as owner at the door and to acknowledge the contribution of others in the business. To this day I am most pleased to stand in front of Elizabeth’s wine, recognize the value that Oregon’s sharing grape culture has played in my knowledge in the vineyard, and to relish and enjoy the role that my friends have played in Airlie’s success.”
Nestled in the coastal mountain range on the western edge of the Willamette Valley, the inviting setting, complete with a picnic area and pond, extends any plans for just a brief stop. Located in the Heart of Willamette Valley, Corvallis, Salem, Albany, Dallas and Monmouth are just a short drive away.
Thirty-two acres of grapes consisting of eight varietals: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Müller Thurgau, Gewürztraminer, Maréchal Foch, and Muscat Ottonel make up sixty-five percent of the grapes used in making Airlie Wines. BeckenRidge Vineyard, located 20 miles away west of Dallas Oregon, supplies the remaining grapes. BeckenRidge is more than a supplier, they are friends as well. I buy their grapes and they sell my wines at their event center at the BeckenRidge Website
Airlie Winery is located 20 miles northwest of Corvallis on the scenic coastal edge of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The tasting room is located beside a pond and covered picnic area for your pleasure and enjoyment of our wines.
Visitors welcome ~ Open Noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays ~ March through December
Other times catch us or call ahead for an appointment. For group tours, please make arrangements in advance.
Our phone number: 503-838-6013
Our fax number: 503-838-6279
15305 Dunn Forest Road
Monmouth, Oregon 97361