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Domaine Willamette Raises Roof of Outdoor Pavilion with Sustainable, Oregon-Invented Panels from Freres Engineered Wood


Jim and Jan Bernau, founders of Domaine Willamette, chose the mass ply panels for their sustainable qualities

DUNDEE, Oregon — Tuesday, September 6: With a pop of bubbly wine to commemorate the moment, sparkling winery Domaine Willamette raised the roof of its outdoor pavilion today with sustainable, Oregon-made mass timber panels.

Domaine Willamette is nearing completion just off Highway 99 in the Dundee Hills. It is the latest venture of Willamette Valley Vineyards, a leading Oregon producer of Pinot Noir, and the culmination of years of hard work by its founders, Jim and Jan Bernau, as well as the support of wine enthusiasts who have invested in the project by purchasing shares of preferred Willamette Valley Vineyards stock (NASDAQ: WVVIP).


The sparkling winery is a representation of how Oregon winemakers are growing and producing sustainable wines, said Jim Bernau, founder and CEO of Willamette Valley Vineyards and Domaine Willamette.

“Wine enthusiasts are interested in what the wine industry is doing to support humanity,” said Jim Bernau. “That’s why stewardship of the land has been a foundational value for us since the winery started in 1983 and why we consider sustainability in the choice of building materials we are using to create Domaine Willamette.”

The Bernaus selected Mass Plywood products from Freres Engineered Wood for their environmental sustainability, ease and speed of installation, and natural beauty that blends aesthetically with the surrounding outdoor environment.

This is the same product being used in the nine-acre mass timber roof going in at Portland International Airport. Freres Mass Ply Panels have a significantly smaller carbon footprint than concrete and steel and are stronger per pound than concrete and steel.

Building with wood sequesters carbon for the life of the product and new trees are planted to continue the carbon-sequestering process. Manufacturing wood products requires much less energy and generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than concrete and steel.

The panels placed on Tuesday stored approximately 60 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the environment, which is the equivalent of taking 39 cars off of the highway, said Tyler Freres, vice president of sales for Freres Engineered Wood. Freres also uses salvaged timber in its products, including timber from the Beachie Creek Fire that took place two years ago.

The panels in the Domaine Willamette pavilion will form the roof of a year-round covered space where guests will enjoy wine and culinary pairings, along with sweeping views of Mount Hood, Oregon wine country and the winery’s biodynamic gardens. 

“We wanted people to have the feeling of being in the vineyard and the gardens, as well as a meaningful way for people to enjoy the property outdoors during all but the coldest times of the year,” said Jan Bernau, who is overseeing construction of the sparkling winery. “There will be heaters, a fireplace and fans to make the area comfortable during a variety of seasons.”

Oregon State Rep. David Gomberg (D-Central Coast), a shareholder in the winery and graduate of Oregon State University, celebrated the occasion by sabering a bottle of Domaine Willamette’s 2018 Méthode Traditionelle Brut. The OSU College of Forestry helped Freres develop and test its Mass Plywood Panels.

Domaine Willamette will produce world-class méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines with an underground aging cellar at the biodynamically-farmed Bernau Estate Vineyard. Located in the Dundee Hills, the winery will offer Oregon-inspired hospitality with wine and food pairings, stunning views, educational tours and beautiful gardens to explore.

Signature Domaine Willamette wines will be distributed to wine shops and restaurants to showcase the Willamette Valley’s ability to grow and produce sustainably grown sparkling wines equal to the great Champagnes.

Domaine Willamette opened its doors to its investors over Labor Day weekend and will host fellow wine industry members, public officials and members of the media on September 15 for an open house. The winery opens to the public on September 19.

About Willamette Valley Vineyards

Founded in 1983 by Oregon winegrower Jim Bernau with the dream of creating world-class Pinot Noir while serving as stewards of the land, Willamette Valley Vineyards has grown from a bold idea into one of the region’s leading wineries, earning the title “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. All the vineyards have been certified sustainable through LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon-Safe programs.

About Freres Engineered Wood Products

Freres Engineered Wood , formerly Freres Lumber Co., Inc., has a 100-year history of innovation in the wood products industry, beginning in 1922 when T.G. Freres started a small sawmill in Oregon’s Santiam Canyon. Today, Freres’ operations include finished plywood, lumber, veneer and structural composite lumber, Mass Ply products, biochar, and a cogeneration facility that supplies renewable power for the local area. Known for being traditionally innovative, Freres is deeply committed to its community and to sustainable forest management practices. The company uses 100 percent of the wood it processes throughout its three operations—Freres Engineered Wood Products, Freres Timber and Evergreen BioPower LCC— and six wood products facilities. Freres provides family wage jobs to about 475 employees. For more information, visit www.frereswood.com or call 503-859-2121.

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