Our story begins and ends with life.
Every day, we see new ways in which the world at large is actually a small place—where connections abound, and even the smallest ripples make huge impacts as they span across miles.
Having come of age as a person and a winemaker in and around the Illinois Valley, it will always be home for Eichmann and his family. With every bottle of Alevin, he offers the world a chance to sip from his home cup, and to experience the life of a second-generation Oregon winemaker. So too, the sustainable production must feed back into the surrounding ecosystem if this home place is to be home for generations that follow.
The creek that runs through more than just our hearts
Sucker Creek is one of three major tributaries that converge to become the wild Illinois River. It also happens to pass through a portion of our estate property.
It’s where salmon jumpstart the lifecycle for the next generation. Each year, thousands of salmon eggs develop over winter in Sucker Creek’s cold, rushing waters. Come spring, the creek’s bed becomes a nursery for the newly hatched salmon, known as alevin.
For generations, the creek’s gravelly surface has protected the tiny alevin—so small that they carry their own food supply, or yolk, attached to their bellies. Newly hatched alevin won’t leave their protective world until their yolk is gone.
We've named our wines in honor of the delicate dance between patience and perseverance.
A Fountain of Youth
When a wine is called “young,” it suggests that better, richer days are ahead—just let the bottle rest a year or two in a cool, dark place until the flavors flourish and the body matures. In choosing the name Alevin Wines, we’re honoring salmon in their very first hours—shortly after hatching, until they have fed completely from their yolk and started the next phase of their lifecycle.
When still alevin, the young fish must be patient as they persevere. It’s a delicate time for them. Conditions in the stream bed must be perfect if they are to mature and flourish. Only after their yolk is gone will the young salmon swim to the surface, gulp air to fill their swim bladders, and start their journey to the ocean. Their travels will be vast, and will inevitably lead them back to swim once more in their mother waters.
We want to help salmon complete their cycle from life to life.
Like a Fish out of Water
In some parts of the country, the salmon population has dropped by more than 95% over the course of a few decades. Countless individuals and organizations are racing against time to save the species that has been a vital part of healthy ecosystems, food chains, and ways of life for generations.
The entire Illinois River Basin is a crucial refuge for wild coho and chinook salmon. Not only is it one of the country’s most biologically diverse river valleys, it’s also one of the few places left where you can witness the earliest phase of a salmon’s life cycle.
Stewards of health and conscience in Oregon's wine country.
Lay of the Land
To be in the winemaking trade for more than 30 years speaks to our commitment to the region. In our view, the land on which we grow is part of something much larger than any of us. We’re honored by each year’s bounty, and grateful to turn every season’s yield into wines that give back to the greater good and bring pleasure to thousands of people. We flourish because of your trust and support. Together, we can give back to the land we call home, and support a greater cause with every sip.