It is with heavy hearts that we pass along the sad news that Liz Chambers, founder of Elizabeth Chambers Cellar and owner of Silvan Ridge Winery passed away last week of a brain aneurysm, at age 56. She was vacationing in the Bahamas with friends and loved ones.
Business and civic leaders for three generations, the Chambers family has deep roots in Oregon, and particularly in Eugene, where Liz grew up. The family acquired its first winery in 1991, when Liz’s mother, Carolyn Chambers, acquired Hinman Vineyards (later renamed Silvan Ridge). Just two years later Liz took over as General Manager of Silvan Ridge, overseeing the estate and vineyards. During her time in this role Liz worked tirelessly to help establish Oregon’s reputation for world-class winemaking. Within five years she had built Silvan Ridge into one of the foremost wineries in the state, a result she credits to limiting the winery’s focus to higher quality releases.
Liz’s passion for Pinot Noir brought her to McMinnville in 2013, where she established her own boutique label, Elizabeth Chambers Cellar in the city’s historic power station. She was drawn to McMinnville because of her desire to establish her winery in the heart of Oregon wine country. The blue butterfly on every bottle is a tribute to her mother, who collected them, and who inspired Liz’s journey into wine. It is also a fitting symbol for the style Liz desired in her wines: elegant, balanced and with a strong sense of place.
In addition to Liz’s love for wine and the Oregon wine industry, she was a lifelong supporter of the University of Oregon and Ducks athletics, a fitness enthusiast who loved skiing, horseback riding and golf. Most importantly, she was a loving mother and grandmother who cherished family and friendship. Our thoughts are with Julia, Andrew, Olivia and Charlotte and all the Chambers family during this difficult time.
Elizabeth Chambers Cellar and Silvan Ridge Winery remain committed to producing premium Willamette Valley wines under the ownership of Liz’s daughter and son-in-law, Julia and Andrew Stiltner. Since 2013 Julia and Andrew have seen their roles in the wineries increase, Julia in sales and marketing, and Andrew as Regional Sales Manager for the Northwest and Eastern Regions. While saddened by their sudden loss, they are excited to take on their new ownership roles and to continue to evolve both brands into the future.