Bill Stoller spent his first weeks of life on the 373-acre family turkey farm in Dayton, Oregon that his father and uncle purchased in the 1940s. No one could have guessed he would eventually purchase that farm over forty years later to turn it into a thriving vineyard... especially as the modern Willamette Valley, Oregon wine industry was to be born about a decade later.
Bill didn’t grow up drinking wine. He only took his first sips in a wine class in the late 1970s. But as the Willamette Valley began to develop – literally – its wine roots, Bill noticed. He realized the family turkey farm’s poor soils and southern exposition – ranging from 200 to 700 feet in altitude – were better for vines than birds.
The transition from then to now was dynamic. Growing up, Bill remained in Oregon but then branched out around the globe. Bill is the Co-Founder and President of Express Employment Professionals, the world’s largest, privately held staffing company. It operates 770 franchise offices in four countries. Along the way, Bill founded Stoller Family Estate and then another Oregon-based company, Xenium, offering human resources and payroll and benefits services to small to mid- sized companies. Bill is not just a man of vision but of incredible energy!
Upon founding Stoller Family Estate in
1995, Bill planted only 20 acres – 10 each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Today, 210 acres of gently rolling hills are planted, predominantly with Pinot Noir. The Stoller Family Estate sells its approximately 40,000 9-liter cases of annual production to 35 USA states and four countries.
Bill wrote, “I started the vineyard with the idea of just being a farmer, but after several years, it just became a desire to start our own label.” It seems the perfect inflection point that as Bill is not the winemaker, but rather an employment services expert, he hired an overachieving team to make his wines.
Melissa Burr, Director of Winemaking, along with Ben Howe and Kate Payne Brown, are the guiding lights for the Stoller Family Estate’s world-class wines. The latest team addition is Jason Tosch, a vineyard management mastermind who thinks as much about the next generations of Stoller winemakers as he does about today’s.
That is remarkable. Vines - like people - must mature to become more interesting. A turkey farm was formative in Bill’s early days, so he created his estate winery to be passed on for two centuries or more. That’s remarkable thinking, and it’s especially exhilarating to see how quickly Bill’s hires have succeeded in what is still a relatively young wine region. From turkeys to wine tastings, Bill says, “No regrets!”
二十世紀四十年代，比爾・斯托勒(Bill Stoller)的父親和叔叔在俄勒岡州代頓購入了373英畝的家庭式火雞養殖場。比爾在此度過了人生最初的幾個星期。誰又會猜到在四十多年後，這個小男孩在會重新購入同一個農場，並將它變成一個讓人豔 羨的葡萄園？實際上當今俄勒岡威拉米特山谷的葡萄酒產業，是在比爾購入此農場後才開始萌芽。
比爾在成長的過程中並沒有怎麼喝酒。事實上他喝的第一口酒，是 70 年代末於波特蘭社區學院上的葡萄酒鑑賞課。當威拉米特山谷開始萌芽，比爾意識到家庭火雞場的貧瘠土壤、200 至 700 英尺向南的斜坡，其實適合葡萄藤的生長多於火雞。
故事並非直線發展。比爾小時候在俄勒岡州接受教育，但隨後他的生活圈逐漸擴展至全球。Bill 是全球最大的私營員工公司 Express Employment Professionals 的 創 始人之一兼總裁，其公司在四個國家設有 770 家特許經營分公司。Bill 創立 Stoller Family Estate 之後，還在俄勒岡州創辦了 另一家公司 Xenium，專為中小型企業提供 人力資源和薪酬福利服務。比爾不僅是一 個有願景的人，而且還有不可思議的精力!
1995年成立Stoller家族莊園後，Bill 起初 只種植20英畝 – 霞多麗黑比諾各10英畝。 今天,Stoller丘陵起伏的領土所覆蓋 的葡萄園面積已達210英畝，當中大部分是黑皮諾。目前 Stoller 家族莊園每年售出約40,000箱葡萄酒(當然每年有所不同) 至美國 35個州和四個國家(加拿大 、瑞典、丹麥和澳洲)。
擔任酒莊設計的釀酒師 Melissa Burr，連同 Ben Howe 和 Kate Payne Brown，是 Stolerer家族莊園世界級葡萄酒背後的功臣。該團隊的最新成員傑森・托奇是一位葡萄園管理策劃人。他希望以後幾代的 Stoller 釀酒師都能跟他一樣有著遠見。
這是非常重要的。種植葡萄需要無比的耐 性。葡萄藤必須成熟 ( 像人一樣 ) 才會變得更有趣。 比爾從農場生活中養成了一 套信念,他創造的葡萄園和酒莊將傳承兩 個世紀以上。這在任何時代都是非常出色的想法。特別令人興奮的是,比爾的團隊成功如何在一個年輕的產區成功釀製出頂級葡萄酒。從養火雞到品酒，比爾從來都沒有後悔!