As the sun stirs awake behind a snow-capped Mt. Hood, John and Nancy McClintock stare at their forty-two acres of grape vines. The view is endless and glistens with morning dew. They spend the morning monitoring the grapes, gardening, splitting fallen trees into firewood and enjoying the wonderful ways of their pastoral setting.
Some twenty years earlier, in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona, John was out for a jog. He passes one of his young residential development sites and stops to view the machinery of construction, already humming. But as opposed to simply clearing the land for housing, this project strove to preserve the natural surroundings. Pleased with the partnership of development and environmental stewardship, John jogged off, carrying with him a philosophy that would last a lifetime.
The McClintocks have always focused on treating people fairly, appreciating nature and giving back to society. Maximizing profit has always paled in comparison to working in tandem with the land, creating innovative housing and mentoring young businessmen. This philosophy allows for the ultimate and most effective use of the land, affording it health, stability and tremendous potential.
Providing the backdrop for their most recent project are Oregon’s famed and photogenic Dundee Hills. The couple arrived in 1995, drawn to twenty acres and an old farmhouse at the summit of Hilltop Lane. Surrounded by rich red soil and an ideal climate, Mother Nature made a pretty strong case for wine. A few years later, one and a half acres of Pinot Gris were planted, setting the stage for Vista Hills’ first crush in 2000. Pinot Noir moved in to the remaining acreage and the Vista Hills Vineyard label began to bloom.
John and Nancy’s vision of respecting nature and working closely with Her offerings is wed to their philanthropic tendencies by The Clint Foundation. This organization provides helping hands to students working while attending college. After thirty years of real estate development and eleven years as farmers, the McClintocks have a host of values. Like Vista Hills wine, these values will gain merit and complexity with age. Daughter Cristy, her husband David McDaniel, and their children Ryan, Austin, Tyler and Courtney have inherited this mindset.By 2009, through the purchase of additional acreage, Vista Hills will have the potential to produce 5,000 cases of wine. Much has happened since that brisk morning job in 1986. A philosophy of care, giving back and sustainability ensures that even more lies ahead.