Broken Top Community: A Favorite in Bend

Master planning a community is a true art form that takes true expertise and commitment. Successful communities do not just happen by chance, but are thoughtfully designed and laid out to capture the best views, celebrate the natural geography, enhance resident safety and provide residents with an abundance of amenities that will enhance their lifestyle; all culminating in a place that is celebrated for years and generations.

Broken Top - Sonja Porter - Aerial View
Sonja Porter, a Broker with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, has a true understanding of what is needed to not only plan a successful community, but to also develop one. Sonja grew up in Canada and has degrees in Geography and Urban & Rural Planning. She is a solution-oriented professional who has been negotiating complex land use, development and real estate transactions since 1998. Previous jobs, as an Urban Planner, Environmental Consultant and in Resort Development, give her an exceptional understanding of what makes a place truly special and successful. Sonja has worked with some of the top resort developers and planners in Whistler, British Columbia and in Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes, California.

Broken Top - Green Lakes Loop
One of the premier listings represented by Sonja Porter is in the gated golf course community of Broken Top. It is an architectural masterpiece by Neil Houston and custom built by Steve Madsen at 19256 Green Lakes Loop.

Broken Top Community - Aerial
Broken Top is truly a spectacular master planned community which was originally designed in the early 1990’s and has been built out in six phases over the past 25 years. Broken Top is perfectly located in the heart of Bend close to Mount Bachelor, hiking and biking trails, the Deschutes River, the Old Mill District and Bend’s original Downtown area.  The community is comprised of just under 650 homes and townhomes surrounding the championship golf course designed by Tom Wieskopf and Jay Morrish.

Approximately 400 of the residences are gorgeous, custom homes on lots ranging from a half acre to just under a quarter acre with some homes sitting on double lots of an acre or more.  The remainder of the community is developed with beautiful townhomes in various sizes and designs. For example, one can find newer contemporary townhomes in Painted Ridge, or gorgeous single level homes on large lots in Ironwood and Arrowood.

Broken Top - Living
Much like Sonja Porter’s listing at 19256 Green Lakes Loop, the community is artfully designed and celebrates everything unique and special about living in the mountainous high desert. The established community offers mature landscaping, expansive common areas, a clubhouse and restaurant, and a playground as well as creeks, ponds, paved walkways and breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountain Range and the Broken Top Golf Course. This community has so much to offer and the geography varies greatly offering residents the ability to live nestled in the large ponderosa pine trees or in a park-like setting backing to a pond and babbling brook or high up on rock outcroppings with expansive views. At the Broken Top community there truly is something for everyone.

Broken Top Community Clubhouse
Golf Course membership is not a requirement to buy within this community, but the Club House is beautifully appointed with a full fitness gym, swimming pool, restaurant, conference space and some of the best views in Bend.

The architectural masterpiece located at 19256 Green Lakes Loop is an exquisite European-inspired gem. This stunning south facing home on a .99 acre lot, offers 165 feet of golf course frontage at the 12th fairway. The home is an impressive 6,500 square feet and boasts main floor living with master suite, office, den, great room, laundry room, kitchen and dining room. Attached 4-car extended garage and heated driveway compliment this incredible property.

Broken Top - Family
If you are looking for the “wow” factor–look no further. The most impressive space in this home is the great room with exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling Montana Moss fireplace, black walnut floors and mahogany cabinetry.  The dramatic iron railed staircase provides access to two oversized bedrooms with walk-in closets and ensuite bathrooms, hand-crafted on site by Iron Works of Central Oregon.

The master suite is a true oasis with a fireplace, his and hers closets, and a spa-like master bath featuring sauna, steam shower and a beautiful soaking tub overlooking the enclosed private garden. The large bedroom above the 4-car garage would work great as a bonus room or make the perfect in-law suite with its fireplace, wet bar and workspace.

Broken Top - Tub
Sonja Porter has utilized her background and extensive experience to benefit her real estate clients. In the 5 years that she has had her real estate license, Sonja has built her business exponentially, year after year. In 2018 she achieved one of the highest rankings and was recognized in the top 1% of agents in Bend, Oregon. She is passionate and knowledgeable about the region, and hyper-focused on customer service. She commits to each one of her clients unparalleled support and guidance at every step of their real estate transaction(s). She will provide expert advice, neighborhood information and market statistics to help her clients make educated real estate decisions. Whether her client is an individual looking to purchase a starter home or a developer looking to embark on a large-scale residential development project, Sonja has the skills, determination and experience to make the process go smoothly and efficiently.

Broken Top - Fireplace
Photo Credits – Mike Albright

The Old House and the Sea

The history of Ilwaco, a small but active port on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula, is built into an historic home that sits high on a hill. When the house was under construction in the early 1930s, a nearby Civil War-era fort was being decommissioned, and the staircase from the captain’s quarters was dismantled and rebuilt in the house. It’s just one detail in the house that is filled with character and history.

Ilwaco House Study
That charm is what caught Richard Ellis’s eye almost twenty years ago. He and his wife Marge Ellis were looking to move from Vancouver, Washington to the Washington coast when Richard stumbled upon this house. Staring up at the two-story home, Richard thought to himself, “I bet Marge would love this house.” He knocked on the door and asked if the owner would be willing to sell. As luck would have it, she would.

Ilwaco House Kitchen
Richard and Marge lived there for eighteen years and are now moving to eastern Washington to be closer to family. “We’re so torn,” said Marge. “We just love this house.” The house is as much a fixture in the charming coastal town as the port that draws tourists year-round. Originally owned and built by a local family that owned the whole block as well as the theater and gas station in Ilwaco, the house has been through only three owners in its almost century of life.

Ilwaco House Breakfast Nook

“Finding this much usable space and a well-maintained property in a home of this age, in this location, is a real challenge,” said Cascade Sotheby’s broker Heather DeFord. “It is one of the premiere homes in the area.” When the Ellises moved in, the bones of the house were there, Marge explained, but it did need updates. Richard and Marge were careful to preserve the integrity of the home and its craftsman style.

Ilwaco House Living Room
“I like traditional builds,” said Marge. “No matter how they build today…it just doesn’t have the bones that this does.” They started by chipping away at the paint that had sealed the original large picture windows shut, breathing new life into the home. They took the time to find the era-correct replacements for Art Deco style chandeliers and sconces that were found throughout the home.

Ilwaco House Dining Room
They did preserve the original maple hardwood flooring that was found throughout the first floor and the second-floor landing. Other details like glass doorknobs, ample built-ins, a gas fireplace and French doors that lead into the dining room enhance the historic charm. Seven years ago, they remodeled the kitchen. “We worked really hard to make sure the kitchen blended in with the house,” said Marge. Matching the dark DeWils cabinets to the wide wood trim found throughout the home made the modern kitchen blend seamlessly with the traditional style of the home. They added stainless steel appliances and granite counters as well as an island to the layout for an efficient cook’s dream. They also brought back the booth seating in a breakfast nook of the kitchen that was taken out at some point in an earlier remodel, restoring part of the home’s original history.

Ilwaco House Master Bedroom
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home is primed for its next chapter. There is an unfinished basement that could be turned into another living space. The large, unfinished attic, which is lined with large wooden beams salvaged from shipwrecks in the area, could be turned into a master suite. Outside, a recently added Malarkey roof is constructed to withstand heavy coastal storms. Fruit trees dot the large yard, and there is a detached two-car garage with more storage space. Fresh landscaping and white exterior paint add to the 4,500-square-foot home’s curb appeal.

Ilwaco House Bonus Room
“Finding a home on the coast of this vintage and quality, and in such excellent condition, is no small feat,” said broker DeFord. “This home has been lovingly cared for and upgraded over the years, and is perfectly located to take advantage of all the recreational opportunities on the Long Beach Peninsula.” Ilwaco and Long Beach have recently seen a surge in tourism. Locally run small businesses draw families to the region. Ride along the dune trails, hike and search for sand dollars at Leadbetter Point State Park, stroll through the charming historic Oysterville neighborhood and pick up fresh seafood for dinner. In Ilwaco, the Saturday farmers’ market brings out the local vendors along the boardwalk.

Ilwaco House Aerial
From the high perch of the home, Richard and Marge can watch the bustling harbor, with fishing boats moving in and out daily. They also can imagine what Lewis and Clark saw on the last point of their journey, as Ilwaco is the farthest point West of the historic trail. “There’s a lot of history here,” said Marge. This home is listed for $585,000 with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information, view the listing here or contact Heather DeFord at 360.608.4321.

Breakaway Lodge – A Unique Property with a Story All Its Own

GEARHART, OR – Most of us have that one special memory from our youth about our time at summer camp. Such an experience still existed up until late August of this year, when Breakaway Lodge closed its doors for the last time. Operating under the Christian faith-based organization Young Life, the Breakaway Lodge, providing life-transforming experiences for young people, held its annual camp season from May-September for over 50 years. While many are saddened over its closing, they are surely grateful for all of the memories which still reverberate within the Lodge walls. Built in 1920, Breakaway Lodge was placed on the market at the conclusion of the 2018 Young Life Summer Camp Season. Located just a few blocks from the ocean (220 Nita Ave, Gearhart, OR, 97138-2685), the rich legacy and effective ministry will not be forgotten.

Breakaway Lodge Lounge
Gearhart, Oregon is an alluring, residential seaside community, neatly tucked away just 4-miles north of the bustling town of Seaside. Only a 90-minute drive from downtown Portland, Gearhart has been a favorite respite for Northwest residents since the late 1800’s. Solitude is plentiful along the 2-mile long, white-sand beach, with ocean breezes blowing the golden grassy dunes. You can quietly wile away the hours in search of razor clams, driftwood or beach treasures. While most residents prefer to enjoy its scenic beauty by foot, Gearhart Beach is one of the few public beaches in Oregon where visitors are permitted to drive on the sand.

Breakaway Lodge Dining Room
Recently celebrating its 100th anniversary, this historic hamlet is also home to two golf courses boasting breathtaking views and well-maintained properties. Gearhart Golf Links, with its spectacular links-style layout, is known as the oldest golf course established in the Northwest and arguably in the Western United States. Gearhart has not only earned a reputation as a popular golfing destination, but as an upscale, laid-back family retreat.

Breakaway Lodge Bunk Beds
When a property as unique as Breakaway Lodge outlives its usefulness from its original intent, the question naturally arises, “What next?” Well, the possibilities seem endless for the immediate future of the Lodge. Listed by Nicki Whittle and Sally Conrad, brokers with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, Whittle says, “The Lodge offers an extremely rare opportunity for the right individual, family or company, to transform the space to reflect their identity. Whether it morphs into an ultra-special residence reflecting the Oregonian lifestyle, a family retreat or a destination where a large company may hold its annual summits, this structure, at this location, will surely reinvent itself for its next life.” The Lodge, a local landmark, has been woven into the family tapestry of many residents, Whittle and Conrad included, having attended many family gatherings and special events.

Breakaway Lodge Game Room
The majority of the interior rooms of the Lodge are extremely well-maintained, reflecting an open floor plan and a Pacific Northwest coastal lodge feel, with original hardwood flooring, hardwood paneling on both the walls and ceilings and 2 working gas fireplaces with stone facades. The exterior is reminiscent of a typical Nantucket seaside cottage, sporting weathered cedar siding, and a roof clad in cedar shingles.

Breakaway Lodge Aerial
Whichever vision ultimately transforms this historic property, the soundness of its structure and inherent coastal personality will stand the test of time. CLICK HERE to view the listing.  If you would like a tour of this one of a kind property, please contact Sally Conrad at 503.440.2111 or Nicki Whittle at 503.440.9583 and one of them will be happy to assist!

Breakaway Lodge Firepit

The Morrigan Group knows the Coastal Community

LINCOLN CITY, OR – There’s no question that Lisa Morrigan, a Broker with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, has a true real estate pedigree. Her lineage dates back a generation, as her father was a real estate developer. It’s no wonder, Lisa has had no difficulty in establishing a robust client and referral base throughout the picturesque communities of coastal Oregon. As a Lincoln City resident, Lisa has extensive experience in coastal communities of Southshore, Whale Watch/DePoe Hills, Bella Beach, Salishan, Bayview, Road’s End and Sahhali to name a few.

Beach Front
Lisa “Understands the value of home is not just in the house itself, but is enhanced by the surrounding environment and community. I am a firm believer that selling real estate is providing clients a personalized service to find the property that fulfills their dreams.” In her search for the ideal place to raise her own family, Lisa discovered the scenic Oregon Coast, specifically Lincoln CIty. What distinguishes her from other brokers? The ability to connect with the needs and wants of those wishing to buy or sell on the Coast, whether their interest lies in a permanent residence, vacation property or investment opportunity.

Morrigan Group
In an effort to provide a more comprehensive experience for all transactions, Morrigan formed The Morrigan Group with Brokers Ed Tanabe and Penelope Perez to provide clients with the highest quality support based on their needs and requirements.

After a long tenure with Boeing, Ed Tanabe transitioned to real estate, applying his multi-discipline background working in finance, industrial engineering, operations, business management and information systems to the real estate market. To Ed, “Integrity, facts/data and communication were the guiding principles I brought with me to my career in real estate. During my time at Boeing, I had been visiting and investigating property on the Oregon Coast and purchased a lot on the ocean in 1991. I continued to visit the Oregon Coast investigating the real estate market and experiencing the local communities. Over time, I felt that the lifestyle and community feeling on the Oregon Coast was a perfect fit and eventually built a home on the lot we purchased.” Ed has transitioned this knowledge and skillset to the real estate market to the benefit of their clients.

Yachats Oceanfront Chateau Estate
Integrating global cultural experiences with local knowledge and small business entrepreneurship, Penelope Perez brings a fresh and unique perspective to the team.  Having lived and worked overseas in Southeast Asia and France as well as California and Washington DC, Penelope’s goal is to “encourage people to follow their dreams, from one fantastic place to the next”.  For the past five years, Penelope has owned and operated a successful French inspired café in the neighborhood of Bella Beach utilizing her vast wine and palate knowledge she has acquired over the years.  Penelope utilizes her expertise to provide clients with an unforgettable and unique real estate experience.

Yachats Oceanfront Living Room

Yachats Oceanfront Chateau Estate

One of the premier listings that The Morrigan Group currently represents is the Yachats Oceanfront Chateau Estate. This magnificent property truly needs to be seen to be believed. Elegant touches, with a multi-generational floorplan, this meticulously maintained oceanfront estate rests majestically on over 2 acres of rugged Oregon Coast frontage. A private gated drive leads you to this spectacular 4,700 square foot. home, adorned with an “old world” feel, yet possessing every modern amenity imaginable. The entry opens to an expansive great room with vaulted ceiling, stone fireplace and a floor-to-ceiling-wall of windows providing breathtaking views of the Pacific.

Yachats Oceanfront Entry Foyer
There’s a chef’s dream kitchen, with a gourmet island, dual ovens, gas cooktop, built-in fryer and granite countertops. Two master suites, both with a stone surround fireplace, game and media rooms. Located south of the vibrant community of Yachats and to the north of the quaint coastal town of Florence, this residence sits in one of the most picturesque areas on the Oregon oceanfront. Contact Lisa Morrigan to schedule a tour of this impressive property,

Yachats Oceanfront Kitchen

Community Support a Family Affair for Julie Allen

BEND, OR – Growing up in Ventura County, Julie Allen shares an affinity for the residents of her former California community. Julie, along with husband Geordan, are embarking on a rescue mission, trekking south near where the wildfires have devasted so many, to deliver supplies and donations to the evacuees from the Camp Fire in Paradise/Chico, and the Woolsey and Hill Fires in the Los Angeles vicinity and Ventura Counties. Hurriedly collecting items since the inception of the blazes, Allen, a Broker with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty in Bend, Oregon, is determined to provide whatever relief and assistance to her former neighbors.

According to Allen in what drives her inspiration, “It’s important to me to help in times of need, because it connects us to people and the community. Being a Mom, providing a model for my children to be tolerant and giving is vital in this world in which they are growing up in.”

Although, Allen fondly recalls the early years of starting out in Ventura County with her young family, she is vividly reminded of the financial struggles she and many others experienced as a result of the high-priced housing market there. With affordability quickly encroaching on their daily quality of life, the Allen’s elected to relocate to the Pacific Northwest, determined to improve on their situation. Roughly 3 years after landing in Bend, Oregon, Julie and her husband Geordan, a General Contractor, have successfully navigated through many of the similar issues they experienced while in California.

Marta Bolens, Managing Principal Broker for Cascade Sotheby’s Central Oregon region states, “Although they’re becoming slightly more difficult to uncover, there are “diamonds-in-the- rough” throughout the Central Oregon market. The hard part is if you’re able to find one affordable enough, while allowing ample budget for renovation.”

Resolved to providing others with the basics to their formula for happily reestablishing roots in their newfound community, Julie and Geordan are taking full advantage of their knowledge in real estate and renovation to assist clients with affordable home ownership throughout Central Oregon. Her association with Cascade Sotheby’s has provided a reciprocal platform in which to launch such an endeavor, enabling Allen to “speak” to potential clients because of her family’s practical experiences. Being able to assist both buyers, as well as sellers, in the challenges associated with establishing a quality of life, begins with the path to affordable home ownership.

Allen comments, “Being able to afford your dream home can be difficult, we can help make it happen.” As an additional incentive, Allen enlists the assistance of Allen Construction & Design.  Geordan, a licensed general contractor, specializing in kitchen and bath remodeling, and custom woodworking, will consult with Julie, who has an interior design background, to advise in the economical renovation of homes within the client’s price point. Julie suggests, “Find the house that you can afford, and we will transform it into the home that you love.”

With over a decade working in residential construction, Allen Construction and Design is experienced with projects ranging from new construction to small and large-scale remodeling, as well as renovation jobs. Their team is highly knowledgeable in building requirements and working with an unsurpassed attention to detail and dedication to delivering the highest quality work possible that’s on-budget.

Eunice B. commented on her recent kitchen remodel, Julie has a keen sense of what the customer wants. We are very happy with the choices that we have made and grateful that the process has been so easy!”

Another client, Steve and Tina R. add, “Julie helped my husband and I every step of the way during our master bathroom remodel. She is extremely professional, kind and honest to work with. Julie did an awesome job of quickly determining our wants and needs for our new bathroom. She set realistic expectations for us, and has a calm can-do attitude that we really appreciated throughout the process. Julie did an awesome job of communicating with our contractors. We always felt that all parties involved were on the same page with the design we were wanting to achieve. We highly recommend Julie, and we will definitely work with her again on our next project.”
Allen’s blueprint to affordable home ownership includes establishing a realistic budget, targeting a listing that would allow for the estimated renovations and performing a comprehensive inspection on the property to eliminate potential cost overruns. Julie’s approach aligns perfectly with the messaging of Cascade Sotheby’s, in that, “Luxury is an experience, not a price point.”

Cascade Sotheby’s Seizes Market Share in Farm, Ranch and Vineyard Division

Bend, OR – In 2017 Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty hit $1.3 billion in closed sales thanks in part to its robust growth and expansion in farm, ranch and vineyard properties. With growing demand from out-of-state buyers looking to Oregon’s farms, ranches and vineyards for spacious production and recreational properties, Cascade Sotheby’s Farm, Ranch and Vineyard division is booming: the division’s revenue has climbed from $122,165,000 in 2014 to over $200,000,000 in 2018. The average sales price has increased from $2.3 million to over $2.7 million for these working properties throughout Oregon.

FRV - Winery
Part of that growth and volume comes from the brokerage’s unique expertise in the sales and marketing of acreage properties like farms and ranches. Cascade Sotheby’s elite farm, ranch and vineyard team now has 20 dedicated brokers throughout the state of Oregon.  These experienced Brokers have knowledge in agriculture, livestock, soil analysis, hop farming, vineyards, recreational properties, equestrian properties, farm and ranch, fly-fishing, land use, water rights, tax benefits and more.

FRV - Vineyard
Many of these Farm, Ranch and Vineyard Brokers at Cascade Sotheby’s have worked as ranchers, farmers, equestrians, and vintners and bring their diverse talents to Cascade Sotheby’s clients looking to buy or sell extraordinary rural properties.

FRV Lodge
“We are Oregonians; we’ve been raised here on the land, riding horses, hunting and fishing—we have extensive backgrounds in ranching and we understand livestock, farming, septic and irrigation considerations, State and Federal laws, land use and the lifestyle,” says Patty Cordoni, long-time broker with Cascade Sotheby’s and manager of the renowned Farm, Ranch and Vineyard Division. “Cascade Sotheby’s brokers understand what buyers are looking for whether it’s a working ranch in Pendleton, an award-winning vineyard in the Willamette Valley, a recreational property with access to fly fishing, or an equestrian property. Our brokers are setting the standard for knowledge about working properties and what prospective landowners are looking for.”

FRV - Land

Introducing New Farm and Ranch Brokers in Southern Oregon

Now, the brokerage is recruiting expert talent in Southern Oregon’s emerging destination wine country: Cascade Sotheby’s welcomes the region’s top-producing rural broker, Alan DeVries, to its elite team of farm, ranch and vineyard real estate experts. DeVries, who specializes in vineyard sales and last year alone sold $22 million in properties in addition to supporting the sale of Troon Vineyard, leads Cascade Sotheby’s new farm, ranch, vineyard listings in Southern Oregon with over $22m in active listings. He also recently closed the sale on four properties in Medford and multiple properties in Jacksonville and Klamath Falls.

DeVries Team
Cascade Sotheby’s prides itself on recruiting broker experts in working properties with backgrounds in ranching, the outdoors, diverse land and terrain, irrigation and all of the lifestyle and culture nuances that come with that. The brokerage recently welcomed veteran rancher Matthew Cook and professional jet boat operator, outdoor guide and outfitter Mike Lee to its elite team of farm, ranch and vineyard brokers. The brokers have been immersed in experiential learning that offers the background and expertise they need to better serve clients looking for rural properties.

The Brokerage Has Also Expanded its Presence in Eastern Oregon with New Listings in Prineville, Joseph, Post, Ashwood, Diamond, Canyon City and Dempsey.

Purchasing farm, ranch or land properties in Oregon and SW Washington offers a myriad of opportunities. Every farm and ranch has a unique story whether it be an equestrian or livestock ranch, hay and seed property or award-winning vineyard. As unique as the land, so are the experiences of the specialists who work these types of properties.

To view our Farm, Ranch and Vineyard properties, Click Here.

At Home in the Vines

On his very first visit to Oregon, Rollin Soles fell in love with the Willamette Valley. “I knew in my heart that this is where I belonged.”

That fateful trip happened almost four decades ago, in 1979. Soles was born and raised in Euless, Texas, and earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Texas A&M and a master’s degree in enology and viticulture at the University of California at Davis. His love of the science of grape-growing and winemaking were firmly in place by the time he first set foot in Oregon. Now, he knew exactly where he wanted to grow his grapes and make his wine.

“The next years were a dive to get vineyard and wine experience,” he recalled. “I came up with a plan to grow grapes and make wine in the Willamette Valley.”

In 1986, Soles came to Oregon for good. He purchased land near Newberg the following year, a gorgeous piece of property that drapes down the southwestern slope of the Chehalem Mountain Range at 400 feet elevation. The land would be ideal for growing wine grapes. But planting it would have to wait. Soles was already deeply immersed in another project—Argyle Winery, which he founded in Dundee in 1987.

Roco Winery Owners
Argyle would go on to become one of the most celebrated wineries in the state—arguably, in the nation. But these were early days, long before the Willamette Valley was proven as an ideal place to grow pinot noir, or even before pinot noir was a well-known wine varietal, renowned by critics and beloved by wine lovers. “My joke was that one small California winery produced all of the pinot noir that America drank,” said Soles, who is as known for his wit as he is for his handlebar mustache and cowboy hat.

“We had an extra tough time of it,” continued Soles, speaking not only of his experience but that of all the winemakers in the region. The rich soils of the Willamette Valley were perfect for growing pinot noir. But the vineyards had to be established from scratch. Experimentation was required, which led to failures and new beginnings. “It blows my mind what we were up against. There were so many strikes against us. But there was nobody more creative, with more passion, than Willamette Valley winemakers.”

The collaboration and companionship within the Willamette Valley winemaking community through those early years is what Soles credits with his survival, and that of others, followed by the subsequent development of the region as a verifiable destination. “We always made space in our lives to lift all of us up at one time. We started doing things collectively that would make Americans like pinot noir. All of the hard work was totally worth it,” he said. “Working together—it was phenomenally gratifying and always had an authentic ring of togetherness.”

Argyle grew to an undeniable success, producing dozens of award-winning wines, focusing on sparkling chardonnays and pinot noirs. Soles could easily have rested on his laurels, winding down the years in the barrel room of Argyle. But his Chehalem Mountain land was calling to him. He and his wife Corby had never even gotten around to planting a vineyard, and the land lay in wait.

Roco Winery Vineyard
“Sometimes there are good things about not having immediate gratification,” said Soles. In the decades that had passed, the wine industry had dramatically changed. “At that point, viticulture had completely utterly improved. And, I’d been farming for twenty-five years.”

In 2001, Rollin and Corby planted the Wits’ End Vineyard on what would become ROCO Winery (RO for Rollin and CO for Corby). “I was able to work with clones I’d used for decades,” said Soles. “I planted on root stocks—we never would have dreamed of doing that in the 1980s. We planted rows with close spacing, which means more leaves, which absorb more sunlight.”

The grapes were pinot noir; the wine was excellent. Two years later, ROCO Winery produced the first vintage of Private Stash pinot noir, showcasing the very best of Rollin’s small-lot winemaking skills in a bottle that was eventually served in the White House. “We were so lucky that we didn’t plant until 2001,” he said. “We ended up getting the best out of the Wits’ End Vineyard.”

Roco Winery Tasting
Again, success was in hand. Again, Soles could have simply continued doing what he was doing, but innovation is in his blood. “With ROCO, the saying ‘never say never’ has never been more true,” he said. “I was just going to make pinot noir. But then Corby said, ‘I kind of like chardonnay.’ So, we planted chardonnay. We began doing new things with sparkling wine. Then we made a tiny bit of rosé.” He laughed, marveling at the journey he’s taken and continues to take. “We’re releasing the first ever ROCO rosé this year! I call it ‘mission creep’. I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned and tweak it, give it the unique ROCO style.”

After more than three decades of growing wine businesses from bare earth, marketing wines to the world, adapting and changing and growing, one singular challenge has been a constant for Soles. “The weather,” he said. “The weather of the Willamette Valley has been the most challenging aspect of my work here. The growing seasons are so different in the Willamette Valley, from one to the next.”

Roco Winery Barrels
And yet, ever the seeker of challenge and innovation, Soles sees the flip side of his primary antagonist. “It’s caused me to be a better grape-grower and winemaker. Without the weather, I wouldn’t have attained the same level of excitement. If we have an easy growing season, I love them, but then I feel a tinge of disappointment that I didn’t get to go toe-to-toe with nature and respond.”

As the Willamette Valley has come into the light, wineries have sprung up all around and wine lovers have poured in, but community is still at the heart of the matter for Soles. ROCO donates wine and money to local nonprofits, contributing to the betterment of the Willamette Valley, and Soles continues to speak out for the wines that he makes and that his compatriots make. “If we speak with one voice to consumers, it brings more attention to us all,” he said. “For the tiny size of the Willamette Valley vineyard acreage, we do get more attention. We punch above our weight.”

Roco Winery Logo
The ROCO logo is an illustration of a bird in the style of an early Native American petroglyph. Rollin and Corby Soles have always enjoyed the outdoors and camping with their three children (now grown). “It brings a whole new flavor to camping and enjoying the Pacific Northwest if you think as if you were a human being 10,000 years ago,” said Soles. “Imagining where petroglyphs might be, finding evidence of human life, adds a new layer to our time outdoors.”

Click Here to view our Vineyard Listings.

Third Thursday Art Walk Lake Oswego

Please join us Thursday, November 15th at our Lake Oswego Office (310 N State Street, Suite 102) from 4-7pm, to enjoy the Art of MaryAnn Puls. Host for the evening will be Broker Juli Martin, co-sponsor will be Academy Mortgage. Complimentary wine and appetizers will be served.



About MaryAnn Puls

Visual artist, MaryAnn Puls uses an intuitive approach while working to create abstract paintings, drawings and assemblages. Her work expresses spontaneous impulses with results that appear strangely familiar, attractive and somewhat quirky. Everyday visual stimuli, especially the interactions of nature and human made elements create constant fodder and themes in her work.

MaryAnn Puls lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Exhibitions include 6 solo shows, numerous juried and group shows and was awarded a Regional Arts & Culture Council grant. Recently many of her pieces were selected by Emily Henderson Design for staging throughout their Dunthorpe remodel project.

For more information, Click Here.

Vandenborn and Blossey Helps Build a New Story

Bend, OR – The donations from the Sotheby’s International Realty® network to New Story have already provided safe homes for families in Haiti, Bolivia, and El Salvadar with a new community underway in Mexico. Thanks to the collaborative effort of New Story and donors like Central Oregon Brokers  Natalie Vandenborn and Laura Blossey, families get to move out of their make-shift tent camps and into new, safe homes following earthquakes or other natural disasters. Vandenborn & Blossey have been instrumental in initiating the campaign to get their office and others involved.

New Story Houses
Blossey speaks passionately about the endeavor, “I was so moved from the New Story video showing a family rejoice over their simple concrete structure – a solid roof over their heads for the very first time, the security that their home won’t be destroyed by the next storm. Brightly painted and joyful, these simple homes brought so much pleasure to this family, yet in our own lives we too often focus on minute flaws or lack thereofs.”

New Story Kids
New Story is a non-profit working to create a world where no human lives in survival mode by providing one of life’s most basic needs – shelter. The organization has funded more than 2,000 homes for families in need in less than four years. Its 100% model ensures that every penny of each donation goes to build homes while organization overhead and R&D is covered by private donors such as Y Combinator, prominent venture capitalists, and other leading executives. The current $6,500 homes are built to last for generations and each donation is paired directly with a family so donors can see their impact. See more and donate at

New Story Porch
Blossey adds, “Please join Natalie and me and donate to our campaign today. We named our campaign “Every Family Deserves a Home” and we are $5,350 towards our goal of raising $6,500 to build a new home – with your help maybe even two! New Story will send 100% of your donation to build a new home and once the family moves in, they’ll send us a video so we know the exact impact we have.”

A common theme of the New Story project remains “For Locals, By Locals.” By training local workers and buying locally sourced construction materials, your donation will not only build a home, but it also stimulates local economies and teaches skills in the process.

New Story Running
New Story recently made headlines with the launch of a 3D printer, made possible through the support of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand. It is the first permitted 3D printer to build homes in the developing world and is scheduled to start efficiently building safe homes in El Salvador soon. When it comes to framing and raising a new build, what once required hours of labor and a hefty budget can now be accomplished in less than a day for a sliver of the cost. Pairing technological advancements from Austin-based startup ICON with donations from partners like the Sotheby’s International Realty network, New Story has created a 3D printer capable of creating a home in just 12-24 hours for the low cost of $4,000 USD. Programmed to create the foundation and walls of the structure via a concrete-extruding printing apparatus, The Vulcan 3D printer produces single-story, 650-square-foot structures that represent a breakthrough in housing relief efforts worldwide. ICON co-founder Jason Ballard says 3D printing is something of a “unicorn technology” for the construction industry, singular in enabling faster, better, and cheaper projects to be completed with new creativity.

New Story Colors
“We are incredibly proud to help advance New Story’s mission to transform people’s lives by providing the foundation of life, a home,” says John Passerini, Global VP Interactive Marketing, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “Their innovative approach to not only building homes but entire communities has already made an incredible difference for so many people and with their introduction of a 3D printer, they will be able to streamline the process like nobody has ever done before.”

New Story Jumping
While many families in have already begun their lives in new, traditionally-constructed homes made possible by New Story, more will soon receive a home in the world’s first ever 3D-printed community in El Salvador, and the Sotheby’s International Realty brand is proud to play a part in such a life-changing initiative. The 3D printer received significant media coverage including Architectural Digest, Fast Company, Wired, The Verge, PBS and BuzzFeed to name a few.

First Thursday Art Walk in The Pearl

Please join us Thursday, December 6th at our Portland Pearl Office (1321 NW Hoyt St, Portland, OR) from 5-8pm where we will be featuring the artwork of Laurie Balmuth. Our broker host for the evening will be Nettie Klein Lu, co-sponsor will be Academy Mortgage. Wine samples and light appetizers will be served. You can find more information at The Official site of Portland’s Pearl District: Explore the Pearl.


Laurie Balmuth Bio

Laurie Balmuth was born and raised in Connecticut and spent much of her early life in Maine. She moved to Oregon in 1988 and in 1994 graduated from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland with a BFA double major in Painting and Printmaking. She divides her time between Oregon and Baja Sur, Mexico.

“My paintings flow directly from inside me to the painting surface” says Balmuth about her work.

“Defining the meaning of each painting is completely fluid. I make them as an antidote to literalism so they aren’t about an image so much as how visual information is decoded. I am deeply wedded to the driving force of seeing and making.. The objective of each work is to realize and make real that which is vague and felt or only glimpsed.  I extract shapes that become other shapes; interlocking, separating, merging and transforming. Honesty in image making comes from emotion and the need to paint. Craft comes from inside a particular person. A painting is my perfect world, made honestly and exactly to my specifications.”

To find out more about Laurie, Click Here.