|The Carpenters have been farming along Foothill Road in Medford for nearly a century. Enticed to come to the valley by Reginald Parsons of the neighboring Hillcrest Orchard, brothers Leonard and Alfred Carpenter planted their pear orchard in 1909 using draft horse teams. Horse teams gave way to tractors, and further changes ensued when nephew Dunbar Carpenter returned to Medford after World War II and took over the operation in 1946.
Dunbar and his wife Jane built a house on the hill a half
of a mile north of Hillcrest Road in 1954, where they raised three children, Karen, Dunbar Scott, and Emily, from their perch on the hill, looked over the expansion of the pear operation during the ensuing decades. In the mid 1970s, Dunbar began planting wine grapes on the slopes below their house, experimenting with different varietals and cultivating techniques.
Dunbar and Jane’s daughter Karen and her husband Stuart Allan returned to the Rogue Valley in the late 1970s. Emily and her husband Brian Mostue also returned in the early 1980s. In addition to other professions, Emily and Brian became increasingly involved in the expanding vineyard and the hay operation that replaced the pears. By 2006 the painstaking process of cultivating premium grapes was well established, and Brian and Emily’s daughter Ali and son David had become involved in the vineyard, the fourth generation to work the family farm.
Dunbar and Jane, now in their 90s, continue to live on the hill above the vineyard. Emily and Brian remodeled an old farmhouse on the west side of the farm off Pierce Road, and Karen and Stuart live in the original 1909 farmhouse overlooking Rocky Knoll vineyard. Dunbar Scott Carpenter, lives in Portland but participates regularly by phone and visits to the farm.