The Coelhos

Our family name Coelho, means “rabbit” in Portuguese. The rabbit logo on each of our wines symbolizes the love, heritage, and our family approach to creating wine. If you follow the Coelho rabbit, you will find your way to premium wine with a long family history.

COELHO (KOO-AY-lo)
Portuguese translation: Rabbit
As our family name, Coelho also means love, heritage and a family approach to creating premium wines that honor our Portuguese traditions.

Dave and Deolinda Coelho are the owners and day-to-day operators of Coelho Winery. Their story starts in the San Joaquin Valley in California, where as a young couple they farmed approximately 800 acres of tomatoes, sugar beets, corn, and alfalfa. Looking for a change and a good place to educate their very young children, while visiting Oregon, they fell in love with the rolling hills of the lush Willamette Valley. In 1991, they packed up their young family and moved to Amity where they transformed 40 acres 3 miles south of Amity into the renowned Coelho Estate Vineyard.

Dave and Deolinda Coelho

Dave and Deolinda Coelho

Dissatisfied with being middlemen farmers selling grapes to others and driven by a desire to connect directly with their customers, they decided to make wine from their own fruit, honoring their Portuguese wine-making heritage. In 2004, they bottled their first vintage of  Pinot Noir and they called it “Paciência,” Portuguese for patience, reflecting the patience that it took them to realize the dream of their first vintage. Since then, they have added two other vineyards to their acreage.

PORTUGUESE WINE-MAKING HERITAGE

Wine-making runs in the Coelho blood.

Dave’s grandfather, Joe Coelho, best enjoyed wine surrounded by loved ones. A dairyman, Joe made Portuguese wine for family and friends, instilling a love and appreciation for the wine experience in Dave.

Deolinda’s grandfather, José (Joe) Serpa was a carpenter who tried wine-making in the family basement. Unfortunately one of his kids siphoned wine for friends to taste. The next morning, the Serpas found the siphon in the barrel, and several sick boys on the floor, ending Joe’s wine-making.

FAMILY BUSINESS

Today, the next generation Coelhos have grown and are off pursuing their own dreams and raising their own families. The Portuguese wine-making heritage continues: after learning the craft at the family winery, the two boys have both gone on to establish careers in the wine business.  Dave and Deolinda continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis and if they are not at the Coelho Winery in downtown Amity, they will be working at one of the vineyards, volunteering in the local community, cooking large family dinners at the vineyard, passing on their passion for wine and the Portuguese wine-making traditions of the family, or winning against their children and grandchildren at cards.

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