St. Jory Vineyard Wetlands Project
In 1997, the Fries family purchased the 113-acre parcel that is now St. Jory Vineyard. Historically, the land had served various farming and ranching-related purposes, none of which prioritized maintaining the health of the spring-fed creek that trickled through the property. The family set about transforming the area into something much more sustainable.
They began by preparing the land for vineyard use and then planting it to Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. They also began the process of applying for the necessary permits to create a reservoir and wetlands habitat in the area of the spring. In late 2003, the family finally saw their dream of the St. Jory restoration project become a reality when the reservoir slowly began to fill and the wetlands area took shape.
Encompassing 77 acre feet (with 7.2 acres of surface area), the reservoir now houses rainbow trout and a variety of migratory birds, including ducks and geese. In addition to the natural wetland habitat that has sprung up around the pond's shoreline, the family created an additional 41,736 square foot wetland area at the head of the pond, planting it in dozens of native plant species.
Today, the wetlands and adjoining reservoir are thriving with a multitude of native Northwest species. It is a picturesque and tranquil setting, made even more special to the family by serving as the location for the wedding of Greg and Amber Fries in July 2004.