The Vineyards

Vineyards with Presence and Purpose

In all ROCO winemaking, we begin by working with grape farmers whose sustainable viticulture practices promote the lively ecosystems at the foundation of vibrant wines. The work of winemaking largely happens in the cellar, but we cannot begin our work until we’ve benefited from the good work of others.


Wits’ End Vineyard, owned by the Soles family, drapes down the southwestern slope of the Chehalem Mountain Range at 400 feet elevation. Planted mainly in sedimentary soils among stands of native trees and two natural springs, the vineyard is a quintessential Willamette Valley landscape, teeming with wildlife—including owls and hawks, coyotes and even cougars.

The Soles began planting their LIVE Certified and Salmon-Safe vineyard in 2001 to Pinot Noir. Then, in 2013, they expanded it to a total of 20 acres, adding a block of Chardonnay in the process. Situated in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, Wits’ End Vineyard is arranged in a high-density plot with 2,600 vines per acre of Dijon clones. The vineyard is superbly located relative to surrounding landmasses: In the winter, the Chehalem Mountains rising up behind the vineyard (to the north) protect the vines from northeast Arctic winds, and in the summer, the Dundee Hills (to the south) transition Pacific Ocean winds into gentle afternoon breezes.

Wit's End Vineyard

 Knudsen Vineyard

Cal Knudsen and his wife Julia Lee began planting Knudsen Vineyard after an inspiring 1960s trip to Burgundy. Situated high in the Dundee Hills AVA—at elevations between 500 and 1000 feet—the 130-acre vineyard is planted exclusively in the famed, red volcanic soil known as “Jory” that is unique to the northern Willamette Valley. The site includes plantings of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier.

ROCO sources Pinot Noir from Knudsen Vineyard. Due to the vines’ high elevation, they ripen late in the season and give winemaker Rollin Soles the raw material to craft red-fruited, earthy wines with a silky texture—true in form and flavor to the AVA. The fruit from this vineyard is LIVE Certified and Salmon-Safe.

 Marsh Estate Vineyard

Marsh Estate Vineyard is situated on a prominent knoll between Newberg and Carlton in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Planted in 2007, the 23-acre vineyard stands at elevations between 255 and 320 feet in a mix of sedimentary soil types—including Willakenzie, Goodin, Carlton, and Steiwer-Chehlpum Complex soils. The vineyard is comprised mainly of Pinot Noir with a small block of Chardonnay, and is arranged in a medium-density plot of 1820 vines per acre on low-vigor, phylloxera-resistant Riparia Gloire rootstock.

ROCO sources Pinot Noir from the upper slopes of Marsh Estate Vineyard, including blocks of Pommard and Dijon 114 and 115. The fruit from this vineyard is LIVE Certified and Salmon-Safe.

Sustainable Farming and Winemaking Practices

ROCO is committed to responsible methods for tending grapes and transforming them into wine.

ROCO Winery is LIVE Certified Sustainable

LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) is a non-profit organization that provides education and certification for vineyards on a set of internationally-recognized, science-based practices of winegrowing that minimize environmental and social impacts while maximizing long term agricultural and economic sustainability. ROCO Winery is proud to be among the growing group of LIVE Certified Sustainable wineries in Oregon. This designation represents a civic and ecological responsibility very close to our hearts. The benefits of sustainability are clear: Gentler practices are better for the earth. And we believe they also result in brighter, more flavorful wines that better reflect the characteristics of the land from which they are grown.

ROCO Winery is certified Salmon Safe

Salmon-Safe is a non-profit that was founded in 1995 by an Oregon-based river and native fish protection organization. Since then, it has become one of the nation’s leading, regional eco-labels—designating ecologically sustainable vineyard farming practices. Erosion and runoff from hillside vineyards can bring silt into streams, reducing the ability of native salmon to survive. Vineyards certified as Salmon-Safe are committed to reducing such runoff and enhancing native biodiversity. ROCO Winery is proud to support and rank among them with Wits’ End Vineyard. We take extra precaution to ensure that agricultural processes have little-to-no impact on the health and habitat of our beloved salmon population.

ROCO Winery supports IOBC

The International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) was established in 1955 to promote environmentally safe methods of pest and disease control in plant protection. IOBC promotes the use of sustainable, environmentally safe, economically feasible, and socially acceptable methods for controlling pests and diseases that threaten agricultural and forestry crops. ROCO Winery firmly believes in the ideals and practices of the IOBC and makes every effort to uphold the IOBC’s standards for “Integrated Organization and Integrated Pest Management.”