The story begins in Sacramento, California well before the first modern-day vines were planted in Oregon's Willamette Valley.
In Sacramento, the Myers family; parents Tucson and Lonnie, and sons Mark and Joel, lived across the street from another young couple, Charles and Shirley Coury and their two boys, Brad and Charley. Charles was studying Enology and Viticulture at nearby UC Davis, and at the time was finishing his Masters thesis on growing Pinot noir in cool climates in the Western United States. Through the Courys, the Myers met other young students in the UC Davis program; Werner Koblet and David Lett.
In the mid-sixties Joel's father accepted a position with the State of Oregon and moved his family to Silverton. Both Coury and Lett had moved north and were carving vineyards out of orchards, pastures and blackberry patches that covered the hills in the north Willamette Valley. The Myers family frequently visited the Courys and Letts maintaining their friendship.
Growing up in Silverton, Joel worked on farms since age 10. One of his first jobs was to help the Letts plant and trellis their vineyards in the Dundee Hills in 1968. Through high school and college, Joel was actively involved in farming, working mainly for the large grass seed and grain growers in the area. Joel took a semester off from college in 1976 to visit vineyards, research stations, and wineries in Germany, Austria and Yugoslavia with Charley Coury.
In the summer of 1979 Joel graduated from University of Oregon with a degree in Geography and Environmental Science. After searching for a job with the Forest Service, he accepted what he thought would be a temporary harvest position in the vineyard at Eyrie. Soon after, he was offered a full time vineyard-cellar manager position.
Joel met Louise Bernards, a teacher and artist from a local farm family, who was working for the Letts as well. They were married in 1981 and together they traveled to Switzerland, where Joel worked with Dr. Werner Koblet. At the time, Koblet was one of Europe's leading researchers in vine physiology and management. Working with Koblet and other Swiss winegrowers, Joel developed his base knowledge in vine physiology, disease control, integrated production, and clonal studies. Coupled with his comprehensive background in traditional farming, he returned with a new interest and vision for the potential of Oregon viticulture.
In 1984 Joel and Louise founded Vinetenders and began a life of vineyard management in Oregon. Vinetenders currently manages over 200 acres of prime vineyard property in the north Willamette Valley. They He carry on that tradition together with sons Joey, John & David.
1968- At age ten, Joel helped plant David and Diana Lett's (Eyrie Vineyard) first Pinot noir planting. This was among the first plantings of the variety in Oregon. Joel's parents, Tucson and Lonnie Myers met the Courys in 1961 (also Pinot noir pioneers in Oregon) while living in California. The Courys introduced them to the Letts and they became close friends.
1976- During college, Joel went to Europe to visit wineries, vineyards, and research stations with his friend Charley Coury. He became interested in viticulture.
1980- After graduating from the University of Oregon with a BA in Geography and Environmental Science, Joel went to work for David Lett full time managing his vineyard in the Dundee Hills.
1981- Joel Myers and Louise Bernards were married. They met while Louise lived with the Letts and taught art to their son, Jim. Joel started growing wine grape nursery stock and selling it across Oregon while working for Eyrie.
1983- Joseph Myers is born.
1984- Officially started Vinetenders as an entity in the viticulture business.
1986- John Myers is born. Joel and Louise purchased 40 acres near Dayton.
1988- Joel began working for Eyrie as an independent contractor. The Myers family moved onto the farm in Dayton.
1989- David Myers is born. Joel left Eyrie and began consulting and management work for Guadalupe Vineyard.
1990- Guadalupe, Brickhouse and Veritas hired Vinetenders to plant and manage their vineyards.
1991- Willakenzie Estate hired Vinetenders to plant and manage their vineyards.
1997- Vinetenders began planting and managing Tony Soter's Beacon Hill Vineyard.
1998- Joel became Oregon/Washington sales representative for Duarte Nursery of Hughson, California.
2000- First vintage of Siltstone Pinot noir is produced using fruit from Guadalupe Vineyard. Vinetenders developed and began to manage Two Barns Vineyard.
2001- First vintage of Siltstone Guadalupe Vineyard Pinot gris produced. Joel and Louise purchased the old post office in Carlton and renovated it for winery and tasting room use.
2003- Vinetenders planted and began management of Penner-Ash Winery's Dussin Vineyard. Soter's Mineral Springs Vineyard was developed.
2005- Myers Family began planting the first Blacktail Vineyard Pinot noir vines on their farm in Dayton.
2007- Laurent Montalieu and Danielle Andrus-Monalieu and John and Ginger Niemeyer hired Vinetenders to manage Hyland Vineyard of McMinnville. Expansion of home vineyard took place. Vinetenders buys a Pellenc mechanical grape harvester (one of the first in the region). First vintage of Siltstone Hyland Vineyard Pinot noir produced.
2008- DHF Holdings hired Vinetenders to develop and manage vineyards in McMinnville. Further expansion of home vineyard occurred during this time. Before harvest, Joseph came back to work for Vinetenders.
2009- Many clients continue to expand. Myers purchased 20 acres of land in the Yamhill-Carlton District AVA to plant an additional vineyard.
2012- Muller Thurgau vines planted on farm in Carlton.
2013- Chardonnay and Sauvingon blanc vines planted on farm in Carlton. Siltstone looks to Spring 2013 to open tasting room downtown Carlton.