Cheers! We’re journeying to Oregon for a glimpse at a few fantastic B Corporations: Stoller Family Estate and Chehalem Winery. Stoller Wine Group, founded by Bill Stoller, is the parent company for the Stoller Family Estate and Chehalem Winery. It also houses Chemistry Wine, History, and Canned Oregon under the same business umbrella.
The Stoller Family Estate is the largest contiguous vineyard on a 373 acre property. The pinot noir and chardonnay created at the estate’s vineyard pairs nicely with Chehalem Winery. Chehalem, also owned by Stoller, is famous for its single-vineyard pinot noir and using sustainability practices to create exceptional wines.
Quality vino aside, the Stoller Family Estate is the first winery in the world to achieve LEED Gold certification. It is also LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe certified. Both the estate and winery believe they have a responsibility to their employees, local community, and environment. A toast to their incredible work! Read on to find out more about Bill, and his Dayton and Newberg, OR-based B Corps.
What’s the mission of Stoller Wine Group?
“The Stoller Wine Group was formed in August 2018. We are an Oregon-based company that offers a suite of wine brands and products based strategically on various price points and distribution models. Currently, three brands within the Stoller Wine Group Portfolio are proud to have achieved B Corp Certification status. This process assesses companies to ensure they meet the highest standard of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. Stoller Family Estate achieved its B Corp Certification in August 2017. Chehalem and its second label Chemistry were not far behind, obtaining certification in July 2018.
The vision of creating a world-class vineyard started in 1993 when I purchased my family’s 50-year-old farm. I also saw an opportunity to help fund a friend’s dream by investing in the Chehalem Winery. It was a big year with a lot of unknowns, but I wanted to cultivate an enduring legacy for the land and Oregon wine industry.”
What I love about running (several) B Corps.
“ I believe that when you build something, you do it for a sustainable reason. Growing up in a farming family and small rural community, I have a deep appreciation for our land and desire to support our community. What I appreciate about B Corp certification is that it reinforces our practices and serves as a North Star for our business to continue to advance our goals.”
How local partnerships allow us to grow and thrive.
“Since inception, both Stoller Family Estate and Chehalem Winery have emphasized being leaders in their community. These efforts include paying a living wage and providing a comprehensive compensation package to all full-time staff as well as spreading leadership equally among men and women across every department. More than 50 percent of our business partnerships are with local vendors.”
The simple way Stoller Winer Group is able to “B The Change” daily.
“Both wineries prioritize soil stability and structural health while promoting bio-diversity in our vineyards. More than 20 percent of vineyard sites are designated as eco-zones for native plants and habitat for animals. All three vineyard sites are independently LIVE Certified and Salmon Safe. LIVE takes a whole-farm and whole-winery approach to sustainability. The entire property, including non-grape crops, landscaping, building operations, labor practices, even packaging must be managed to LIVE standards.
Stoller Family Estate and Chehalem Winery are also proud supporters of ¡SALUD!, a pinot noir auction supporting a unique non-profit collaboration between wineries and healthcare professionals that raises money to provide access to healthcare services for Oregon’s seasonal vineyard workers and their families. Both businesses also fervently support dozens of local non-profit and charity events throughout the year, donating the use of their tasting room sites, private tastings and wine.”
If you want to become a B Corp…
“Take the test! What I appreciate about B Corp certification is that businesses can take the assessment and compare its answers against thousands of other for-profit companies. Of a total 200 points, our brands can focus on the areas that are key values to our company and set a customized plan to continue to improve with every certification.”
Saving the world, one B Corp at a time.
“ We see more people wanting to work for, buy from and invest in companies they believe in. We want our wine brands to be among the leaders in this movement. This certification aligns with our key values, and it’s another example of Stoller Wine Group’s dedication to this goal.”
About Bill Stoller, Owner, Stoller Family Estate and Chehalem Winery
Bill Stoller was raised on the family farm outside of Dayton, Oregon. He received a degree in business and economics from Pacific University, as well as an MBA from Portland State University. In 1983, Bill co-founded Express Employment Professionals. This is currently the largest privately-held staffing company in the world. Additionally, in 2001, he founded Xenium, a human resources outsource company. This business success has enabled Bill to pursue his passion of wine and contribute to his community.
True to his Oregon upbringing, Bill sees himself as a custodian of the land he loves. He cares deeply about sustainability and environmental protection. Driven by these values, he sought to create a business that would last for the next two centuries and beyond.
When Bill acquired the family property from his cousin in 1993, many considered it to be marginal farmland at best. Bill recognized that the rocky, well-drained Jory soil, the elevation between 300 and 650 feet, and the land’s south facing slope were all ideal for growing wine grapes.
Bill, already a veteran of the wine world thanks to his co-ownership of Chehalem Winery, planted his first 10 acres each of pinot noir and chardonnay in 1995. He leveraged the experience of consulting viticulturists, and adapted new vineyard techniques. This helped maximize the fruit quality.
As an ardent preservationist, Bill built from the ground up a business he could one day entrust to his great-grandchildren. This drive for sustainability earned the winery the first-ever LEED Gold certification in the world.