River’s Edge began with the purchase of two vineyards, Black Oak Vineyard and Elkton Vineyard, by Mike and Vonnie Landt in 1996. The previous owners were Ken and Mary Thomason, who planted the vineyards in 1972. They had planned on eventually starting a winery on the property, but health issues prevented them from realizing their dream.
In 2000, the winery building was constructed on the western edge of the town of Elkton, three miles from the vineyards, and a stone’s throw from the Umpqua River. The first vintage crushed at the new winery was that fall, with Mike and Vonnie assuming winemaking duties. They were assisted for the first few years by consultation from John Eliassen, a French-trained winemaker, who owned his own winery, La Bete.
For several years the Landts were living much of the time in the Midwest and commuting for the busy months of the winemaking year. In 2005 Mike and Vonnie quit their day jobs and moved full time to Elkton.
In July of 2014, Tyler Bradley joined River’s Edge as Assistant Winemaker. Tyler first met Mike and Vonnie as result of his family’s pioneering vineyard development in Elkton. Tyler, who was working in Indiana, committed to returning to Elkton when his mother, Bonnie, needed help with the vineyard and Bradley winery. It was fortunate that Tyler was available to also help out River’s Edge.