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 has an 8-acre vineyard and a fully functioning estate teaching winery on premise. Each sip of wine from Chemeketa Cellars represents the hands-on training that happens here.
A bustling winery. Classrooms and labs full of students. Industry meetings. Wine club events. One thing's for certain—Chemeketa Cellars has a lot going on. Sign up here to keep tabs on all of the events taking place at Oregon's innovative student-operated winery.
Each batch of Chemeketa Cellars wine provides a lesson for our student winemakers. Winemaking is one of the oldest trades in the world which means there is much to learn over a lifetime of practice. All classes taught and wines produced at Chemeketa Cellars are done under the tutelage of professional wine instructors. Every student is different and so is every class. Each class has the autonomy to choose its winemaking direction. Experimentation is encouraged and stewarded by our winemaking instructor into each vintage of Chemeketa Cellars wine. All of the wines are limited-edition vintages and bottled in small quantities. Every class contributes a new edition to the Chemeketa Cellars wine portfolio.
Terroir is a term people often hear when discussing wine, but what does it mean? Terroir is a French term that, literally translated, means soil or earth. The concept of terroir on a broader level includes all of the environmental aspects that affect a wine including climate, topography, soil, and farming practices. Each of these aspects imparts a certain flavor or characteristic into wine. For this reason, Chemeketa Cellars and the Wine Studies program take time to provide TLC to the vineyard and winery. One way that Chemeketa Cellars ensures it is doing its best for sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices is to secure LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) certification. LIVE is headquartered at the Northwest Wine Studies Center, further solidifying the Center's commitment to continuing environmental education and advocacy.
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