Our Story

Passion for Pinot with a Sense of Place is what defines Willakenzie Estate, a family owned winery located in the heart of the Willamette Valley. The winery is named after the sedimentary soil on which the vines are planted to reflect the ultimate expression of “terroir”.

After a successful career in high tech co-owner Bernard Lacroute decided to return to his Burgundian roots and purchased the 420 acre cattle farm in 1991. Planting started in 1992 and the first wine was made in 1995 in the newly built gravity winery.

Ronni and Bernard decided to settle in Oregon because they believe that it is the best region in North America where Pinot Noir can be made in a style which parallels the great wines of Burgundy.

They are strongly committed to wines which reflect the place on which the grapes are grown, sustainable farming, clean winemaking, small production of Vineyard Designated Pinots, respect of the environment and of the people who work in the vineyards and winery.  

Though their lives have taken them in different directions Ronni and Bernard remain both business partners and friends, sharing the dream of making beautiful Pinots in Oregon and supporting the community in which they live.

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Our History Winemaking
Dirt Matters Clones Matter
Our Founders Commitment to Sustainability

 

 

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