Ayres was founded in 2000 by Brad McLeroy. Brad grew up in Kanas City where his family owned and operated a wine shop. Brad felt the call to make wine, so moved his family to Oregon and honed his winemaking skills during his six year stint at Domaine Drouhin under the direction of Veronique Drouhin. It is here where Brad learned to craft beautiful, pure Pinot Noir that speaks of its place. The Ayres estate vineyards are all situated on gently eastern sloping hills of the Ribbon Ridge AVA on Willakenzie soils.
The property consists of 40 acres, of which 20 are planted to vines. Brad is strongly committed to providing the vines, and his family who lives on the property, a healthy, chemical free environment in which to grow. No herbicides or pesticides have ever been used on the Ayres property. There’s a belief at Ayres that the wines are the voice of the soils. It’s about reciprocity, a relationship that begins in the vineyards and is translated into the wines. The McLeroy’s have the luxury of growing the grapes, making the wines on site and living in the company of the vines.
The wines at Ayres are comprised primarily of Pinot Noir’s crafted from Dijon and Pommard clones. From the entry level Willamette Valley to the single vineyards, the Pinots from Ayres are textured and have clarity of fruit with a balancing freshness. In addition, Brad has become very fond of Gamay and is making a bright, crunchy version that will grow in production. Small amounts of Pinot Blanc and Rose are also produced.