Native Oregonians, Carol and Peter Adams planted their vineyard on the south side of Chehalem Mountains in 1976, one of the first in the region. The Jory clay loam mixed with some Willakenzie is an ideal home for the Pommard clone of pinot noir.
Five years later, in 1981, the couple picked the grapes for their first bottling of pinot noir and chardonnay under the label Peter F. Adams, later simplified to Adams. The same year, production of the wine moved to a small building in the industrial area of northwest Portland, the first urban winery in the city. Carol gradually took over the winemaking process, beginning in 1985, making her one of the first female winemakers in the Willamette Valley. Eventually sauvignon blanc was added to the repertoire, with grapes purchased from Croft vineyard in Dallas, Oregon.
In 1995, the winery sold to Paul Hart and Jan Jacobson of Rex Hill. For the next ten years, the Adams leased their vineyard to Rex Hill, at which time they began working with vineyard manager Stirling Fox.
The year 2008, marked their return to wine production with a new name and a new label, Trout Lily Ranch. The name originated from the flowers that grow wild at the vineyard. Four nodding blossoms, representing the four members of their family, Peter, Carol and their two daughters, Portland and Fanny. Carol and Peter hired Kelly Kidneigh, friend and neighbor, as their winemaker. She worked with the family, making wine, for 14 years. In 2023, son-in-law Jacob Hale, took over the winemaking alongside his friend and colleague, Alex Clark. Wine production currently takes places at Zenith Vineyard in Salem, Oregon.
A block of the original Pommard remains on the property, with younger plantings of Pommard, 777 and 667 clones of pinot noir as well as sauvignon blanc, gamay noir, trusseau noir and chardonnay rounding out the remaining planted acres of Adams Vineyard.
Carol is an artist; her creative career includes cooking at the Genoa, writing a popular food column for a Portland newspaper, and making wine at their Portland winery. She enjoys working in her studio and caring for her grandchildren. Peter died in August of 2023 after a private battle with cancer. He ran a construction business as well as oversaw the vineyard, but most of all he loved spending time with his family at the vineyard. He worked up until the last weeks of his life.
In recent years, daughter Fanny and her husband Jacob have become involved in the business, running it alongside Peter and Carol. Fanny continues to design the labels, while also leading the charge on events and managing the wine club. Jacob spends the fall months in the winery overseeing wine production, and conducts tastings at the tasting room during the spring and summer seasons. Together with Carol they manage the operations of Trout Lily Ranch as a family.