Pattie and Mark met at the University of Minnesota in 1985. They married, raised four children, and worked in the Twin Cities until Mark’s job took them to Oregon in 2005. Their plan was to spend weekends driving the countryside in search of their dream – a vineyard site with forests and streams. Within months, they purchased a scenic 107-acre farm in the Eola-Amity Hills and set to work. Since then, they have planted 15 acres of vines, taken viticulture and winemaking classes, and released their first vintage, a 2009 Pinot Noir.
“Look me up when you want to get married.”
The idea for Bjornson Vineyard was conceived in the 1980’s when Pattie met Mark at the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management. Pattie asked, “What do you want to be doing in 20 years?” Mark contemplated a moment before answering, “Long-term, I want to live in the country, plant an orchard and garden, and raise a big family.” Pattie was shocked. Most people in business school during the 1980’s had long-term goals of running a Fortune-500 company, not running a family farm. She responded with humor, “Wow! Look me up when you want to get married.”
The dream of an orchard evolved into a vineyard after a staying at several small wineries on month-long tandem bicycle trip through Europe in 1993. By this time, our wine tastes had gravitated towards Pinot Noir, and Oregon was the natural target for our land search.