The Coelho family name means “rabbit” in Portuguese. The rabbit logo on each of our wines symbolizes the love, heritage, and our family approach to creating wine.
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 Vineyard.
Dissatisfied with being middlemen farmers selling produce 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.
Winemaking 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 made wine 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.
In 2004, the Coelhos 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 and now produce single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay from their own fruit in three sub-AVAs of the greater Willamette Valley.