The God of the Harvest and Wine

Dion Vineyards

written by Carrie Wynkoop of Cellar 503 | photo by Sharon Gottula


My son is obsessed with Greek mythology. For years, he has learned the powers and lineage of Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Poseidon and others. 

Of course, in the wine business, it’s Dionysus who looms large—the god of the harvest and wine, and the namesake of Dion Vineyard in Cornelius. First planted in 1973 by Ron and Joanne Johnson, the vineyard’s beloved Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes have been in demand for many well-known winemakers for decades.  

At first, their son Kevin Johnson had no interest in the family business and was content to manage the vineyard from a distance and sell the entire crop. He nurtured his passion for aeronautical engineering and created his own path in the world of airplanes, space shuttles and drones. But about seven years ago, the viticulture bug bit and Kevin Johnson gave up his engineering career.

Under his direction, Dion Vineyard became LIVE certified back in 2009. For him and his equally talented wife, Beth Johnson, a marketing guru and assistant winemaker, sustainable farming has a direct impact on the expressiveness of his wines. With fewer inputs, the land can shine through more clearly.

We are pleased to feature Dion’s 2015 Tempranillo as one of our January selections. Join the 1859 Wine Club to explore more Oregon wines.

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