About Raptor Ridge Winery
What's In A Name?
Founded in 1995 by winemaker Scott Shull, Raptor Ridge Winery gets its name from the many families of raptors – Red-tailed Hawks, Kestrels, Sharp-shinned Hawks and Owls – that share the winery's 27-acre estate. The vineyard is named "Tuscowallame," the indigenous word for "place where the owls dwell."
Tuscowallame Vineyard is nestled along a foggy ridge on the northeast side of the Chehalem Mountains, ten miles north of Newberg, Oregon. There are 18 acres of property under vine, including blocks dedicated to Pinot noir clones 115, Wadenswil, 677, 777, Pommard and 114. A small amount of Grüner Veltliner and Pinot gris are also planted in the site's Loess-based Laurelwood soil. Each Tuscowallame Vineyard block is named to honor the foreman who planted it: Adalfo, Macario and Dustin.
In addition to production from its own estate vineyard, Raptor Ridge harvests winegrapes from other Willamette Valley growers, including: Arbre Vert, Bellevue Cross, Carabella, Gran Moraine, Harbinger, Hawks View, Meredith Mitchell, Olenik, Shaw, Shea, Stony Mountain and Yamhill Springs Vineyards.
The winemaking goal of Raptor Ridge is to capture the fresh fruit flavors and aromas offered by the celebrated Willamette Valley winegrowing region. Wine production is guided by three basic tenets:
- Personal involvement with the vines
- A working knowledge of every barrel of wine
- Maintaining a balance of science and tradition
Winemaker Scott Shull
The Raptor Ridge approach to winemaking focuses as much on the vineyard as the cellar. Winemaker Scott Shull partners with the growers in pruning, trellising, cluster counting and thinning, leaf pulling, quality monitoring, and all harvest decisions. During harvest, Scott is in the field alongside seasonal workers, and often transports the winegrapes back to Raptor Ridge where he oversees the crush.
Raptor Ridge produces about 6500 cases of wine per vintage year. Approximately nine different cuvées comprise this case quantity, including Pinot gris, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot noir rosé, several distinct vineyard designates, and consistent blends of Willamette Valley Pinot noir and Reserve Pinot noir. Owners Scott and Annie Shull regularly taste through and segregate every barrel into these select cuvées. Uncompromised quality is the focus, not quantity.
In addition to the Raptor Ridge brand, Scott is the consulting winemaker to three other Oregon wineries.
To Purchase Raptor Ridge Wines
Raptor Ridge wines are available online and at select local wine shops and restaurants.