Our Story

The Drouhin Family Approach

At Domaine Drouhin Oregon, we believe in the family approach to wine, in both Burgundy and Oregon. It informs how we live, the wines we make and the respect we have for our land

Wine presses at Maison Joseph Drouhin, 1954

Construction of Domaine Drouhin Oregon, 1989

From the caves of Burgundy to the Dundee Hills of Oregon

The Drouhin Family’s winemaking roots run deep, having taken hold in Burgundy’s best vineyards more than a century ago. Through the years, there has been a very clear link, a continuum, that inhabits Maison Joseph Drouhin, and now Domaine Drouhin Oregon.

Our estate winery in the Dundee Hills creates elegant, fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines forged from our family’s tradition of fine winemaking in France. For more than 30 years, the Drouhin Family has brought a wealth of hard-earned experience to their vineyards in the Willamette Valley, just southwest of Portland, Oregon.

“Skills get more refined, methods evolve, but what’s important is what is transmitted from generation to generation: The search for excellence, the intellectual curiosity, the sense of values, passion, the respect for terroir.”
— Robert J. Drouhin

Vintage photo of Drouhin family Our History CONTINUE THE JOURNEY 1880: Our winemaking roots are planted in Burgundy when Joseph Drouhin moved from Chablis to Beaune and purchased the business trading rights of a wine house founded in 1756.

1918: Maurice Drouhin, Joseph's son, set the goal to develop a fine estate and specialize in Burgundy wines exclusively. He purchased various vineyards, in particular, the famous Beaune Clos des Mouches and a vineyard in the Clos de Vougeot. After World War Two, the company expanded further as it developed a world market.
Joseph Drouhin in the vineyard black and white 1920 - 1980 CONTINUE THE JOURNEY 1957: Robert Drouhin took over the family business; he continued the expansion of the estate in Côte de Nuits, adding prestigious vineyards such as Musigny, Griotte Chambertin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Bonnes Mares, Grands Echézeaux.

1961: Robert Drouhin visited America's west coast, and was invited to visit Oregon. Though there were no vineyards to see in the Willamette Valley at the time, he was impressed by the natural beauty of the region.

1968: Robert Drouhin follows his passions for Chablis by purchasing exceptional Grands Crus (Vaudésir, Les Clos) and Premier Cru vineyards. Today, the family owns 65 hectares (over 162 acres)

1979: The Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad is held in Paris. In the Pinot Noir category, an entry from Oregon finishes in the Top 10, which is a shock. That wine was the 1975 South Block Reserve from the Eyrie Vineyards.
Drouhin Family members in the fields to become vineyards 1980s 1980 - 1987 CONTINUE THE JOURNEY 1980: Intrigued by the results of the 1979 tasting, Robert re-stages the tasting at the Drouhin cellars in Beaune, and uses many of his own Burgundies in the tasting, to understand the new world competition better. Amazingly, the same Oregon wine (the now legendary 1975 Eyrie Vineyards South Block Reserve) placed 2nd by a very narrow margin, bested only by a 1959 Drouhin Chambolle Musigny.

1986: Robert's daughter Véronique comes to Oregon after achieving a master's diploma in enology. She works that harvest with three families, the Letts (Eyrie Vineyard), the Casteels (Bethel Heights), and the Adelsheims (Adelsheim Vineyards). That first impression was profound and helped to form the bond between the Drouhins and some of the founding families of Oregon wine.

1987: Robert Drouhin is invited to participate in the first International Pinot Noir Celebration. Just prior to his arrival, he was tipped to an exceptional piece of land in the Dundee Hills, which he agreed to purchase in July of 1987. With no vineyards, no winery and no equipment, Robert asks Véronique to be Domaine Drouhin Oregon’s winemaker. He would later ask his son Philippe to take responsibility for viticulture.
Black and white construction of DDO winery 1988- 1990 CONTINUE THE JOURNEY 1988: Domaine Drouhin Oregon was truly born, with Véronique making the wine in rented space at the Veritas (now Chehalem) winery outside of Newberg. Excited by the potential in Oregon, Robert begins working on designs for a winery. Built in 1989, this now iconic facility would be ready just in time for the 1989 harvest.

1988: Planting began on the estate using the Dijon clones from Burgundy that were brought into the country by Oregon State University. Domaine Drouhin was the first in Oregon to plant these clones, to plant on a high-density template (1-meter x 1.3 meters), and to graft these vines onto phylloxera-resistant rootstock.

1989: DDO breaks ground on the landmark, four-story gravity-flow winery. It is nearly complete just in time for the 1989 harvest.
Original DDO winery with young grapevines 1990 - 2000 CONTINUE THE JOURNEY 1991: The widely anticipated release of the 1988 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir was met with wide acclaim around the world. That 1988 wine is still drinking beautifully today, the first of many examples of the DDO wines' ability to improve gracefully and wonderfully with age.

1992: Domaine Drouhin Laurène Pinot noir was born. This was our first wine made from 100% estate-grown fruit. The wine is named after Véronique's first daughter, also born in 1992, and is produced in limited quantities every year.

1992: The first Chardonnay vines were planted on the estate.

1996: Domaine Drouhin Chardonnay was officially produced (though a couple of barrels of Chardonnay were made experimentally in '94 & '95.) The classic grape of white Burgundies proved to be well suited to our estate site.

1999: The debut vintage of Cuvée Louise Drouhin. A selection of the most elegant and complex barrels of wine from our finest estate-grown fruit, we feel this wine is the most elegant expression of Oregon Pinot noir that we can produce — named after Véronique's youngest daughter.
DDO barrels in racks 2000 - 2020 CONTINUE THE JOURNEY 2004: The first Edition Limitée Chardonnay was produced. (Flesh out a little more about why it was created?)

2011: The first Edition Limitée Pinot Noir was produced. (Same)

2013: The Drouhin's purchased the Roserock vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills, adding 122 planted acres (279 total acres) to our portfolio.

2013: Robert Drouhin awarded the Wine Spectator's prestigious Distinguished Service Award, the first-ever for a Burgundian.

2016: The inaugural release of Roserock Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

2017: DDO celebrates the 30th Anniversary.

2020: MJD celebrates the 140th Anniversary.

Véronique Boss-Drouhin

Véronique Boss-Drouhin grew up in Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy. She decided on a winemaking career at an early age, inspired by her family and also the small circle of women working in wine at the time. In the years since, Véronique has become globally-recognized for her work in Burgundy and Oregon. She has made more than 30 vintages in each growing region, and is considered an icon in both. In 2019, she was awarded the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest award of merit.

Today, Véronique continues to make every wine for Domaine Drouhin Oregon, the winery that the Drouhins established in the Willamette Valley in 1987. In Burgundy, her title is “Guardian of the Drouhin Palate,” which makes her responsible for maintaining the Drouhin style and sensibility in every wine the family produces. As Véronique says: “each vintage is different, challenging, and interesting in its own way. I couldn’t imagine anything better!”

Philippe Drouhin

Expressing and drawing forth the unique terroir that every vineyard offers.

Véronique’s brother Philippe Drouhin is our man of the vine, responsible for the management and care of the Drouhin vineyards in Burgundy, Chablis and Oregon. From an early age, Philippe observed the viticultural methods and practices that produced some of the world’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, and he assisted his father Robert in conducting research on soils and vines. After graduating from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce in Tours, he went to the Lycée Viticole in Beaune and attended enology courses at the University of Dijon.

He officially entered the family business in 1988, and was charged with managing the vineyards, where he selects the grape stocks and clones, chooses the care to be given to the soils and oversees the pruning schedules. He is an avid student and practitioner of sustainable, biodynamic and organic farming techniques. When harvest season arrives, he is expert at helping decide the perfect time to gather the fruit in order to achieve the highest expressions of quality and each vineyard’s terroir.

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Domaine Drouhin Oregon
6750 NE Breyman Orchards Rd, Dayton, OR 97114
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