Illahe is a Chinook Jargon word meaning “earth,” “land,” or “soil.” We feel this reflects both our location in Oregon, as well as our desire to craft wines which express the variety of soils on our beautiful 80 acre estate. Illahe Vineyards was established in 2000 by Lowell Ford, grower of Oregon grapes since 1983.Illahe is a LIVE-certified, Salmon Safe vineyard. We use cover crops on the entire vineyard. We are part of Oregon's Deep Roots Coalition, and as such do not irrigate mature plants. We do extensive green pruning and conduct plant topping. We prune by hand and harvest by hand. We use sulfur spray to control for powdery mildew and botrytis.
We aim for balanced production and optimal ripeness. This includes a program of no irrigation, leaf pulling to decrease shade, and dropping green clusters after veraison. One of our goals at Illahe is to reduce the use of fossil fuels throughout the year. We have solar panels and we use our horses, Doc and Bea, to mow and to bring grapes to the winery at harvest.