Before it was a community college, the land on which the Chemeketa Salem Campus sits was a gathering place for native peoples to come together and exchange news, knowledge and goods. Chemeketa Cellars, in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, is where past, present and future winemakers “gather” to collaborate on wine growing and making methods. Using our vineyard’s world-class fruit to create award-winning wines, students and faculty exchange knowledge to craft bold new styles that fully express the terroir of our gathering place at Chemeketa Eola, on the bank of the Willamette River in West Salem, Oregon. Come together here with us to support our work and share our story.
The Wine Studies program at Chemeketa Community College includes an 8-acre teaching vineyard and a fully functioning estate winery on premise. Each sip of wine from Chemeketa Cellars represents the student’s hands-on training from grapes to glass. Wine varieties include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Viognier, red blends, sparkling and dessert wines. These student-made small-batch wines have won numerous awards at wine competitions.
A bustling winery. Classrooms full of students. Industry meetings. Community education classes. The annual barrel tasting. Wine club events. Visit www.chemeketacellars.com/Events to keep tabs on the classes and events taking place at Oregon’s innovative student-operated vineyard and winery.
Each vintage of Chemeketa Cellars wine provides a lesson for our vineyard and winemaking students. Students can choose their vineyard and winemaking direction, then experimentation is encouraged and stewarded by our professional wine instructors. Visit our tasting room and learn more about the program and experience a unique experimental-wine tasting.
Chemeketa Cellars ensures it is doing its best for sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. The vineyard is LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) certified and our Wine Studies instructors strive to ensure students learn the most current organic and sustainable practices commonly used in commercial vineyards and wineries. Our student-grown grapes are purchased by many local wineries.
Chemeketa Community College serves a district that occupies the land of the Kalapuya, who are presently represented by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, whose relationship with this land continues to this day. We offer gratitude for the land itself, for those who have stewarded it for generations, and for the opportunity to study, learn, work, and be in community on this land. We acknowledge that our College’s history, like many others, is fundamentally tied to the first colonial developments in the Willamette Valley. Finally, we respectfully acknowledge and honor
past, present, and future Indigenous students of Chemeketa Community College.