Founded in 2020, Cho Wines is the first Korean-American owned and operated winery in Oregon. A dynamic and passionate couple are proud to be making a statement on the world stage when it comes to premium and elegant Pinot Noir.
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Dave and Lois Cho
Meet Dave and Lois Cho, a talented couple who truly love wine. The couple got their start in the wine industry while performing music at local wineries in Southern California. Dave plays guitar and also studied enology and viticulture at Oregon State University. He has also worked for notable wineries such as Oregon pioneer sparkling wine house Argyle Winery and the largest contiguous vineyard in Dundee Hills, Stoller Family Estate. Lois Cho is the Director of Operations and a family nurse practitioner and the two of them together are a powerhouse couple producing fantastic Pinot Noir in the state of Oregon.
“Early in the pandemic, we decided to pursue a decade-long dream of owning our own winery,” the couple shares in their recent announcement video. “If our families could escape wars, establish successful businesses and supportive communities in a foreign country without speaking the language, there isn’t much else standing in our way,” says Lois. “Now as we look to the future, we want to stay true to the character of CHO Wines. Wines that represent a sense of place. Knowing and being involved in each step from the moment the vines are planted to the glass that’s on your table.”
Specializing in high elevation Willamette Valley sparkling wine and Pinot Noir from Oregon, Dave and Lois recently purchased 77.24 acres of farmland in Oregon to break ground on Cho Vineyards. The property is located on the west flank of Chehalem Mountains below Bald Peak, just 25 miles from Portland and 12 miles from Dundee. Dave and Lois Cho, husband and wife owners and founders, find it poignant to now own a piece of the land their families risked to explore. They plan to plant their first vines and open a tasting room by 2023.
With an elevation From 650 to 1150 ft elevation, the site has the potential to produce elegant sparkling and white wines as well as unique reds with distinct identity. From a soil perspective, the new vineyard site screams diversity from Jory and Saum to Witzel and Ritner. Dave and Lois are excited to be working with these nutrient rich soils. The subrounded Columbia River Basalt is transported from the uplands of Chehalem Mountain, with large landslides from just below Bald Peak State Park, and weathered basalt delivered in an earthflow or mudflow long ago making the geology of the site incredibly unique.
The Chos launched their label in May 2021 with six different expressions of Pinot Noir from stills to traditional and ancestral method sparkling, showing off the versatility of the beloved Oregon variety. They are currently sourcing grapes from neighboring vineyards in the Laurelwood District AVA adjacent to the Chehalem Mountains AVA. In the future, they look to expand their line up with varieties from their site, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. The acquired property ranges in elevation from 650 to 1150 feet. It is classified in the Chehalem Mountains American Viticultural Area.
Their flagship 2015 Blanc de Noirs has been praised by both Wine Enthusiast and James Suckling with a 92 score. Their ancestral method sparkling 2020 Pétillant-Naturel sold out within three months and now the Gibson Family Group welcomes the CHO’s as they bring their 2019 Pinot Noir to Toronto and Ontario with very limited quantities available for purchase. You can follow GFG on Instagram here
Join the CHO’s through the ups and downs as they transform this piece of land. Follow along with Cho Wines and their wine adventures on Instagram and Facebook.
Learn more at getchowines.com and follow @getchowines @notyouraveragecho on Instagram.