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Brandborg Vineyard & Winery
Kathy Sullivan

Brandborg Vineyard and WinerySummary: The Brandborg tasting room is located in the small town of Elkton. It is located across the street from the Town Hall. Brandborg Winery is producing wines meant for the dinner table. The focus of the owners is on Pinot Noir wines. Brandborg Winery was named the 2015 Oregon Winery of the year.

Brandborg Vineyard and WineryTerry and Sue Brandborg moved to the small town of Elkton, Oregon in 2002. The couple is enthusiastic about their vineyard and the wines they are producing. Terry had been a home winemaker and lived in San Francisco. He also went to Wyoming to sell wine. During his wine journey, he fell in love with the types of wine in Anderson Valley and Mendocino County, California. Eventually, he decided to search for property along the West Coast. He commented that earlier he had anticipated moving to Anderson Valley, but that did not work out. Driving through Elkton, Oregon, they discovered its potential.

Today the tasting room is in a good-size building in this tiny town of Elkton which has less than 200 residents. The two-story tasting room was designed by Terry. Wine enthusiasts will notice a red brick pizza oven just outside the tasting room. The tasting counter is on the first floor and has a variety of wine-related products including locally crafted items. The second floor, overlooking the tasting counter, offers seating arrangements and tables.

The rooms are decorated with a variety of framed art. One interesting frame was a set of fishing lures. When mentioned, Terry responded that he enjoys fishing but does not find the time to fish.

Brandborg Vineyard and WineryBehind the tasting room is the winery production area. Current winery production is 9,000 to 10,000 cases. Terry Brandborg is focused on crafting wines for the dinner table. He noted that Brandborg wines have more acidity and match well with food.


The Brandborg vineyard property is outside of the town. They have 145 acres. In 2002, the Brandborgs planted five acres of Pinot Noir grapevines. Today the Brandborgs have 20 acres of land cleared, awaiting more vineyard plantings. The elevation of the vineyard is 800 to 900 feet. They also source grapes from other vineyards in the Umpqua Valley.


Brandborg Vineyard and WineryWe tasted white wines at the tasting counter on the first floor. Pinot Gris 2015, Umpqua Valley AVA was a light yellow color. The aroma had citrus notes. The taste was of grapefruit and lemon. The finish was crisp and fruity. Pair this wine with shellfish. Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Umpqua Valley AVA was a yellow color. The aroma offered lemon grass and tropical notes. The taste had notes of lemon, melon and mango. The finish was very crisp and fruity. Riesling 2012, Elkton Oregon AVA was a yellow color. The wine offered notes of petrol, mineral and white peach. The finish was crisp. Gewürztraminer 2013, Elkton Oregon AVA offered floral notes. The taste was of roses and yellow stone fruit. The finish was crisp and fruity with a bit of sweetness.

We tasted several wines with Terry and Sue on the second floor in a comfortable corner seating area. The Fleur de Lis 2014, Elkton Oregon AVA was a white Pinot Noir. This wine had a peach color. The aroma and taste were of strawberries and peaches. The finish was crisp and fruity. This is a yummy wine that is delicious on a rocking chair on a porch or in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter’s day.

Bench Lands 2012 Pinot Noir, Umpqua Valley AVA was a translucent dark red color. The wine reminded one of raspberries. This was a medium-bodied with medium tannins wine. The fruity finish yielded to leather. The wine has a range of food pairings from salmon and chicken to a cheeseburger.

Brandborg Vineyard and WineryFerris Wheel Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012, Elkton Oregon AVA was a translucent dark ruby color. The wine offered notes of raspberries with a hint of strawberries. The medium-bodied wine had medium tannins. Fruit notes were on the finish with some baking spice hints.

Love Puppets Pinot Noir 2013, Umpqua Valley AVA was a translucent red color. The wine offered notes of raspberries with a hint of blueberries. The wine was medium-bodied with medium tannins. The crisp finish was fruity yielding to spice. The wine’s name refers to the love letters that Terry and Sue wrote to each other. The wine’s back label tells their story. “Terry and Sue’s story begins with them meeting at a wine tasting. They lived far apart. They exchanged addresses and began to write letters to one another. Old fashioned, yes, but a real way to get to know one another sharing life’s experiences and dreams for the future. One day a magnet arrived in Terry’s mailbox, captioned ‘Love Puppets on a Ferris Wheel.’ Terry invited Sue to join him in search of the perfect place to grow their beloved Pinot Noir.”

While traveling in the scenic Umpqua Valley, wine enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Brandborg Winery tasting room in Elkton, Oregon. The winery was named Oregon Winery of the Year in 2015.

Brandborg Vineyard & Winery
345 First Street
Elkton, OR 97436

GPS: N43º 38.198’ W123º 33.955’


Article written December 2016

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