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Put simply, the Oregon wine industry owes an immeasurable debt to David Lett and Eyrie Vineyards. In January 1965, after earning a degree in viticulture and enology from UC/Davis, and research in Europe, 25-year old David Lett moved to Oregon “with 3,000 grape cuttings and a theory”. He planted the cuttings in a rented nursery plot, and went looking for the perfect vineyard site. It was the first planting of pinot noir, chardonnay, and related varieties in the Willamette Valley, and the first pinot gris in America. The Eyrie Vineyards, founded by David and Diana Lett in 1966, is located in the Red Hills of Dundee, about 30 miles SW of Portland. It was named for the red-tailed hawks who make their home (EYE-ree) in the fir trees at the top of the first vineyard plantings. The winery is in nearby McMinnville.