News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Willamette Valley Vineyards sues PacifiCorp

Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV) has sued PacifiCorp for $8.2 million after the 2020 wildfires allegedly caused irreversible damage to the quality of wine grapes throughout the region.

The Turner-based business filed suit in Marion County Circuit Court July 24, claiming soot and smoke from the fires tainted a “vast majority” of its 2020 vintages.

WVV said it lost roughly $2.74 million in raw and finished products, and argued damages should be tripled due to the defendant’s alleged recklessness. The plaintiff grows grapes at its own vineyards and buys from third-party growers throughout Marion and Yamhill counties.

PacifiCorp was recently found liable for multiple fires throughout Oregon due to the mismanagement of its system during high heat and wind conditions on Sept. 7, 2020. Details from this case were included in the lawsuit.

Oregon wineries suffered significant losses from the 2020 wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research published by University of Oregon in 2021. Statewide grape yields were down 29 percent compared to 2019, while sales through tasting rooms, wine clubs and other direct sales fell 27 percent.

Oregon State University received a $7.65 million federal research grant in 2021 with the goal of finding low-cost solutions to future smoke contamination.

Previous Article


Next Article

In Memoriam: Betty Kelle-Orr (Dec. 6, 1924 – July 30, 2023)

You might be interested in …

Commissioners uphold 1-mile chicken CAFO rule

ALBANY — On a 2 to 1 vote during a Public Hearing Thursday morning, the Linn County Board of Commissioners affirmed a December decision requiring a minimum 1-mile setback from neighboring properties for new large […]