For husband and wife team of Erica Landon and Ken Pahlow, 2008 marked the launch of their dream in Oregon’s Willamette Valley: the formation of Walter Scott Wines. Ken had dreams of starting his own label, but had not truly achieved his goal until Erica inspired him to take the leap. In the Spring of that year the two partners emptied their meager retirement accounts and used the funds to design their label and get started.
Walter Scott Wines’ first vintage, La Combe Verte Pinot Noir, was produced in 2009 at Patricia Green Cellars by trading harvest labor for winemaking space. For the following two vintages, Walter Scott changed its production location to Evening Land where Ken began working alongside Dominique Lafon. In 2011, Walter Scott began making Chardonnay, which contributed significantly to both their growing production and group of loyal followers.
In 2012, Ken and Erica began leasing their current winery space from the Casteel family of Bethel Heights, which is situated on Justice Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills American Viticultural Area, a sub-appellation of the Willamette Valley AVA. To help accomplish this big move Walter Scott needed some support, so Ken and Erica invited some friends to become part of the business. Sue and Andy Steinman joined the Walter Scott team just before harvest, bringing with them their strengths in business and law.
The Walter Scott team grew again in 2017 with the addition of the dynamic duo Kathy McBride and Jess Pierce. Jess and Kathy work alongside Ken and Erica in the winery and beyond, and are involved in all aspects of Walter Scott, from production to sales.
The name Walter Scott honors two people who meant the world to Ken. Walter, Ken’s grandfather, was a flight engineer for Trans World Airlines. Walter always strived to make his dreams become reality. He was dynamic and adventurous; he did everything from building homes to riding motorcycles to flying planes. His influence taught Ken that there are no limits to what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it. Scott was Ken’s nephew. Although his time was short, Scott was fearless. Much like his great grandfather, he never shied away from anything. Scott’s departure taught Ken that life is very short and you must act on your ambitions because you never know when your chance will pass.