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Winery takes up temporary digs

Wine business — Owen Roe operates in two states, establishing its permanent home in Newberg


Despite working to ensure customers know of Owen Roe’s temporary location at 2700 E. Ninth St. #300, Kate Laubernds, assistant retail and hospitality manager, said some people still show up at their old location near Champoeg State Park.

The winery ended their lease for those facilities in October, and Laubernds said they are working to fulfill a plan 13 years in the making.

“(Champoeg) wasn’t really our home,” she said. “Owner David (O’Reilly) has owned a 100-year-old nut barn over on Schaad Road off Corral Creek in Newberg. He’s owned it for 13 years with the intention of making it the new home of Owen Roe. It’s gone though several passes of plans.”

She said currently they are hoping to add on to the building as well as restore and renovate the space for the winery and tasting room.

“We’re in a transition right now,” she said.

Owen Roe produces wines in Oregon and Washington. Along with moving their Oregon facilities, they just finished building a new winery in the Yakima Valley.

“It was finished just around harvest time,” Laubernds said.

Although it’s still being fine-tuned she said visitors who are interested in touring the Washington facility are welcome, and the production facilities will be used for next year’s harvest.

As for Oregon, remodeling on the nut barn hasn’t begun, so the length of stay in the temporary location is unknown.

“For how long we’re going to have guests here, we’re unsure. It really depends on how long the project takes,” she said. “We may stay here in the future (with our offices).”

She added that the Oregon wines may have to be produced in Yakima if the process takes too long.

“Hopefully we will at least get the winery in place before harvest so the wines can be made here,” Laubernds said.

The winery itself was started in 1999 by O’Reilly, who hails from Belfast, Ireland.

“He named the winery after Owen Roe O’Neill, a famous Irish patriot. He grew up hearing stories of O’Neill,” she said. “We are celebrating these stories, so all of our wines are named after places he fought, or have some reference to O’Neill.”

Because of the two-state production facilities, Laubernds said they can make a variety of wines.

“David is definitely very focused on the Pacific Northwest. It has a little bit cooler climate. He loves to make Willamette Valley pinot,” she said. “In Yakima, we focus on either syrah and Bordeaux.”

The temporary facilities are open for tastings, by appointment only.

Laubernds said they operate on an appointment-only basis because they like the intimate feel the set-up can provide.

For more information about Owen Roe, visit www.owenroe.com.



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