wine history tours logo
Book Now

A History of Soter Wines

Meeting Of People at Wineyard

Soter Wines is a family-run winery located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Founded by Tony and Michelle Soter just over 20 years ago, the winery has established itself as one of the leading producers of Pinot Noir in the United States. The Soters have become renowned for their commitment to quality, sustainability, and innovation, which has allowed them to craft some truly remarkable wines that bring pleasure and joy to wine lovers around the world. 

The history of Soter Wines begins with Tony Soter’s longstanding passion for viticulture. Growing up in California’s Napa Valley, he was exposed to the region’s best winemakers from an early age and developed a strong affinity for wine production. In the early 1990s, he decided to pursue his dream of creating a world-class winery and moved to Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

The Early Beginnings of Soter Wine

When Tony and Michelle Soter first moved to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, they had a dream of creating world-class wines. But as with any ambitious endeavor, the journey was not easy. Despite their enthusiasm and commitment to quality, there were many challenges along the way that threatened to derail their dreams. 

The couple faced an uphill battle from day one; they had no experience in running a winery or making wine themselves. To make matters worse, they had limited resources and little knowledge of the local terroir or climate conditions needed for successful viticulture. However, despite these obstacles, Tony and Michelle persevered through thick and thin – relying on hard work, determination, and sheer grit – eventually establishing Soter Wines as one of the leading producers of Pinot Noir in the United States. 

In order to learn more about winemaking techniques suitable for Oregon’s unique climate conditions, Tony began consulting with some of the region’s most experienced vintners while also taking courses at nearby universities related to viticulture science. He used this newfound knowledge combined with his own intuition gained over years spent tasting different wines around California’s Napa Valley to develop proprietary methods for growing grapes specifically tailored towards producing top 

By the early 2000s, Soter Wines had become a highly respected producer of Pinot Noir, and Tony and Michelle’s work began to draw attention from wine connoisseurs around the world. In order to further refine their craft, the couple formed partnerships with some of Oregon’s top vineyards in order to source the finest grapes available. They also worked diligently to develop special techniques for managing vineyard conditions, such as canopy management and crop thinning, in order to maximize quality and flavor. 

At the same time, Tony and Michelle also embraced sustainable farming practices which focused on preserving natural resources while protecting wildlife habitats. They implemented water conservation measures such as drip irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting, while also minimizing chemical inputs through careful weed control. All of these efforts further improved the quality of Soter Wines’ products while maintaining an eco-friendly approach that contributed positively to the environment. 

Award-Winning Wines from Soter Cellars

Soter Cellars has established a reputation for producing award-winning wines, having won numerous awards from renowned competitions. Perhaps the most notable recognition is their being named the Top Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator in 2009 for their Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir. This achievement marked a milestone in the winery’s history and was a testament to Tony and Michelle Soter’s steadfast dedication to quality and craftsmanship. 

The winery offers a wide selection of award-winning wines, ranging from light and delicate Pinots to bold and complex Cabs. Each bottle is crafted with care, using traditional techniques as well as innovative production methods tailored to each varietal. One of Soter’s standout offerings is their North Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which is made with grapes harvested from four prime vineyard sites located in Oregon’s North Willamette Valley. The wine has aromas of dark cherry, mocha, and blackberry jam that are complemented by spicy black pepper and hints of cigar box on the palate. It was given 90 points by Wine Spectator (2017) and Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (2017). 

Another example of Soter Cellars’ excellence is their Estate Chardonnay, which comes from sustainably farmed vines located on Mineral Springs Ranch in Yamhill-Carlton AVA. The wine was aged for eight months on its lees in French Oak barrels before being bottled without filtration or fining agents. This Chardonnay sports flavors of citrus zest, pear syrup, custard apple, honeycomb, and almond biscotti with nuances of allspice and lemon balm on the finish. It received 91 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (2021) as well as Gold Medal at the International Eastern Wine Competition (2021). 

These examples highlight why Soter Cellars has become one of Oregon’s top producers of premium wines; they consistently deliver brilliant bottles that are both textured and complex – allowing guests to enjoy an enjoyable culinary experience with every sip.

Soter Wine, a true masterpiece from Oregon's Willamette Valley
Soter Wine, a true masterpiece from Oregon’s Willamette Valley 

What Makes Soter Wines So Special?

Soter Wines are renowned for producing premium wines of outstanding quality and flavor. Using a combination of traditional winemaking techniques and modern innovation, the team at Soter Cellars is able to craft truly remarkable bottles that exude pleasure and joy in every sip. 

What really sets Soter apart from other wineries is the meticulous attention to detail they put into each bottle. Every aspect of their production process is carefully monitored and controlled, from the selection of grapes to the aging process; this ensures that all their wines

are made with the utmost precision and accuracy. Each varietal offers unique aromas and flavors that reflect its terroir while also delivering an enjoyable experience. 

In addition to creating incredible wines, Soter Cellars also strives to produce them in an environmentally conscious manner. Over the years, they have implemented sustainable farming practices such as water conservation methods, reduced chemical inputs, careful weed control, and canopy management in order to minimize any negative impacts on natural resources or wildlife habitats. These initiatives both improve the quality of their products while contributing positively to the environment. 

Soter Wines & Willamette Valley

Thanks to their unwavering commitment to quality and craftsmanship, Soter Wines quickly became one of Oregon’s leading producers of premium wines. This success drew attention from connoisseurs around the world, which helped to put Willamette Valley on the map as an up-and-coming wine region. 

Today, Willamette Valley is a major destination for wine lovers who are looking to explore some of America’s finest viticultural offerings. During your trip to Oregon, you can visit Soter’s tasting room or join one of their exclusive tours to learn more about how their award-winning wines are made using traditional techniques as well as innovative production methods tailored to each varietal.

If you want to delve deeper into Oregon’s burgeoning wine scene during your visit, there are plenty of other wineries worth exploring in Willamette Valley – each offering its own unique selection of exquisite wines that will surely leave you wanting more!

Final Thoughts

Soter Wines have rightfully earned its place as one of Oregon’s top producers of premium wines. By combining traditional winemaking techniques with modern innovation, they are able to craft remarkable bottles that offer unique aromas and flavors while also being made in an environmentally conscious manner.

Click here to plan your Willamette Valley Wine Tour.

Want to read more? Try these books!

Find Your Wine- A fun and easy guide to selecting the right wine, every time Wine in Italy- Wine Tasting Journal (Diary, Notebook) for Beginners and Advanced Wine Lovers, 120 pages, 6 inches x 9 inches

Book Now


Hot Topics

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.
On Trend

Most Popular Stories

Dick Erath's wine

Dick Erath: An Oregon Legend

Willamette Valley’s Dick Erath Dick Erath’s contributions to the Oregon wine industry were numerous and profound. In the 1960s, he was  actually working in the