In 1980, Jeff Gordon, along with his wife, Vicki and brother Bill decided to plant wine grapes on a sagebrush-covered slope overlooking the Snake River in southeastern Washington’s Columbia Valley.
Family owned and operated since 1983, producing consistent premium-quality wines that are exclusively the product of our estate grown grapes.
In 1985, he released his first small lot of Chardonnay wine produced from their estate vines, and today the Gordon Estate brand is growing in both production and acclaim.
Before planting the vineyard, Jeff sought out the expertise of Dr. Walter Clore, the “Father of Washington Wine.” Together the two inspected a 200-acre parcel of sagebrush-covered land near the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Dr. Clore strongly approved of the land that would soon become Gordon Brothers.
At the time the vineyard was planted, there were 19 wineries in Washington and less than 5,000 acres of winegrapes in production. Jeff and Vicki quickly fell in love with the camaraderie of the small, but remarkably supportive winemaking community. Now, the Washington wine industry has grown to over 900 wineries and 50,000+ acres of winegrapes, but the Washington industry still maintains its solidarity.
Along the way, there have been a few changes. In 1998 Jeff’s brother Bill retired. That same year a new wine production facility was built on the vineyard that greatly centralized all aspects of the winemaking process. In 2001, Jeff’s daughter and son-in-law, Katie and Marc Nelson, joined the family business. Marc manages the vineyard along with the organic cherries, corn and alfalfa. He works closely with the winemaking team on new varieties and management practices to constantly innovate and elevate the quality of Gordon Estate wines. Katie assists with farm and winery management.
In 2012, as things in the business and wine industry continued to evolve, the family decided it was time to implement a comprehensive brand audit. They believe that in order to remain competitive in an ever-changing industry, it is important to keep in touch with those who support your brand. It was through this communication with consumers, media and trade that the decision was made to change the brand name from Gordon Brothers to Gordon Estate.