In 1987 Julia Staigers and Gerard Koschal were living in Albuquerque, New Mexico and bored with their careers and jobs. Their three daughters had all left home and Gerry and Julie were ready for the next big adventure! They had always enjoyed wine and cooking and had long dreamed of owning a business that would allow them to pursue those interests.
After researching New Mexico, California and the Pacific Northwest for potential vineyard sites, they determined that the Willamette Valley in Oregon held the most appeal to them. The soil was ideal for grapes, the elevation mirrored France’s Burgundy region and the natives were friendly.
Julia and Gerard purchased a 10 acre site with a house, shed, fruit trees and 4.5 acres of miscellaneous grape vines. They combined their names to form Juliard Vineyard and began the arduous task of selecting and planting new vines.
The early years saw grape sales to “pretty much anyone who would talk to us!” says Julia. In 1988 a struggle to find buyers led to a road-side sale of Riesling at $250 a ton! But as the vines grew so did their reputation and local winemakers began to take note of Juliard Vineyard’s quality fruit. By 1998 supply shifted almost exclusively to Erath Winery. This relationship remained in place until 2007 when Julia retired and life became boring again. Uh, oh, time for the next big adventure!
Crumbled Rock Winery was born out of Julia’s boredom and Gerard’s winemaking skills. Gerard had been making wine for family/friends for over twenty years and the couple had often considered applying for a winery license. What could be simpler?
Needless to say life is no longer boring!