The Story of Silvan Ridge Winery in Eugene, Oregon

Our Story

Silvan Ridge Winery is dedicated to producing a stylish selection of distinctive wines and experiences that turn everyday moments into cherished memories.

We are proud to be Eugene, Oregon’s first bonded winery, with a heritage of hospitality that spans nearly four decades and three generations of female leadership. Established in 1979 by Doyle Hinman, Hinman Vineyards quickly became a top-selling winery in the state before being purchased in 1993 by Carolyn Chambers. A well-respected business and civic leader with deep roots in the Eugene community, Chambers rebranded the winery to Silvan Ridge after her maiden name “Silva,” and recruited her daughter Elizabeth out of a career in finance to act as General Manager. In just five short years, Elizabeth established Silvan Ridge as one of the foremost wineries in Oregon by limiting production to high quality wines reflective of the unique roots of Eugene and the Southern Willamette Valley. Today, Elizabeth’s daughter Julia acts as co-president alongside her husband, Andrew Stiltner. Together, they are championing a vision to bring the unassuming, casual elegance that Eugene is known for to the homes, tables, and celebrations of wine enthusiasts across the nation.

Under the guiding hand of our winemaker Juan Pablo “JP” Valot, Silvan Ridge Winery offers wine enthusiasts a selection of diverse and food-friendly wines representing the very best of the Southern Willamette Valley. Collectors of Willamette Valley classics will love our refined, yet approachable Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Connoisseurs of warm-weather varietals are drawn to our impressive Malbec and dynamic “super rioja” blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo. For a taste of summer any time of the year, our delightfully effervescent Early Muscat rounds out our portfolio as a beautiful aperitif or a surprising twist to the traditional Moscow Mule. Our wines are handcrafted to be enjoyable now, and best paired with the mainstays of a Eugene social gathering: good food, fond friends, and lively conversation.

The ultimate way to discover our wines is through a visit to our laid-back tasting room in Eugene, Oregon.  

Crowned by an iconic clock tower and set amidst the grandeur of nature, the magnificent first impression created on arrival is matched by the wines and experiences created within. Our tenured, knowledgeable hospitality and events staff have worked hard to establish Silvan Ridge Winery as the top-rated Eugene winery on Yelp, and Touring & Tasting Magazine named us one of the top 20 “Oregon gems” to visit. A weekday visit may even result in a chance encounter with JP, who will gladly take a break from winemaking duties to connect with visitors over a bonus taste of micro-production varietal wines and an amusing anecdote.

Another way to experience Silvan Ridge Winery is by planning a visit around one of our vibrant events. Every Friday from June through October, our natural grass amphitheatre becomes the stage for live music that attracts audiences of locals and tourists alike. This beautiful setting is also ideal for weddings, festivals and community gatherings, with hospitality and wines that are second-to-none. For outdoor enthusiasts, we host a popular annual Twilight 5K, as well as a Vineyard “Walk & Wine” event to showcase the perfect pairing of wine and nature.

We invite you to experience the style and taste of Eugene wine first-hand and share in the festivities as we embark on our 40th anniversary. Visit our tasting room to discover your new favorite wines to share with friends and family. Plan your visit around one of our popular Friday night concerts, June-October, or consider hosting your own celebration here with the help of our dedicated events staff. For unparalleled Silvan Ridge experiences throughout the year and access to exclusive members-only events and benefits, we invite you to join one of our flexible and affordable Wine Club offerings. You may also shop our impressive selection online to enjoy the convenient delivery of our diverse and food-friendly wines to your home for enjoyment year-round. We look forward to sharing the wines and signature hospitality of Silvan Ridge Winery with you and would be honored to be an addition to your most anticipated get-togethers and treasured memories.

History

Back when the South Willamette Valley was awash in grass and hops, but very few vines, Doyle Hinman, a Eugene weatherman and high school teacher believed Oregon was perfect for wine grapes. Banking on his theory, he planted five acres (2 ha) of grapes just outside Eugene. With no background in agriculture, he then commuted to the University of California Davis for viticulture courses so his venture could be optimized. Several years later he had both a Masters of Science degree from the University of Oregon and a thriving vineyard. He formally established Hinman Vineyards in 1979 and it soon became a top selling winery.

In 1993, Hinman Vineyards was purchased by Carolyn Chambers, a prominent Eugene businesswoman. Carolyn had established Chambers Communications Corporation, Oregon’s first ABC television affiliate in 1959. Known as a pioneer in television, she was a multi-industry visionary and managed a diverse portfolio from construction to real estate. The Chambers family was also recognized for their sizable contributions to the community from health care to the performing arts. Upon acquisition, the winery was rebranded to reflect Carolyn’s maiden name “Silva,” a Latin word that translates as “forest” – aptly suited to describe the fringe of woodland embracing the estate.

Elizabeth Chambers with daughter Julia and her familyCarolyn’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth “Liz” Chambers, harking from a background in finance, managed the winery’s daily operations starting in 1995. Liz narrowed the winery’s focus to higher quality releases, further strengthening its solid reputation. Upon her mother’s passing in 2012, Liz became the winery’s sole owner. Liz has also delved into her own label “Elizabeth Chambers Cellar” with a boutique winery in McMinnville. In 2013, Liz’s oldest daughter Julia joined in the operations, marking three generations of female management, a rare lineage in the wine industry. In February of 2018, Liz passed away while on vacation with friends. Julia and her husband Andrew are proud to carry on her legacy as the family looks toward a bright future in the wine industry.

Tasting Room Hours

Open daily 12-5PM

Appointments are required for groups of 12 or more, and there may be a tasting fee. Please refer to our group policy.

We offer five options to our limited production Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, library and member-only wines.