Champoeg Vineyard, Willamette Valley AVA - Oregon
The Champoeg hillside, named "La Butte" by early settlers, has been home to a vineyard for some time. In 1853 French immigrants by the name of Mathiot claimed 139 acres of land encompassing a portion of "La Butte" located in Butteville Oregon. Wanting desperately to once again produce his own wine as he had in France, Jean Mathiot and his sons began clearing the land for what was to become their American vineyard. "La Butte" was heavily covered in timber and underbrush and it took the family 4 years of back breaking work to finally have the space for grapes. In 1858 the first plants were purchased in California (for around $600) and planted on "La Butte" that same year. It seems that the grapes did well, and the next year it was decided that more were needed. On this trip to California the Mathiots purchased nearly $800 dollars worth of grape vines and set them out on "La Butte".
An 1880 farm census referred to Butteville and the neighboring community as the wine capital of the Oregon Territory. The Mathiot family were amongst those who helped usher in Oregon's love and passion for all things wine.
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