Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard is the labor of love of previoius owners, Karen and Neal Utz. In early 2002, Karen, her husband of 30 years, Neal, and their son, Kris, stumbled upon a unique opportunity in the form of a former plum orchard in the Red Hills of Dundee.
As the story goes, the family and their dog Bailey followed a deer trail through the overgrown brush until they reached the top of an overgrown 42 acre parcel. Before them unfolded a spectacular view of the Willamette Valley and surrounding vineyards with Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson in the distance. The combination of the central Willamette Valley location, along with the breathtaking view and the potential of creating an exceptional Pinot noir presented the Utz’s with an opportunity they could not refuse. And so, the adventure began.
In 2017, the property was purchased by Ian Lombard and Rick Miller, two local Portlanders with a passion for wine and a love for the property. The team now consists of Betsy Hannaford, Kelsey Chance, Chase Williams and Zack Ehrlich. The gang is thriving and motivated to make The Black Walnut something truly special.