Emily and Dunbar

The Carpenter Family has been farming along Foothill Road in Medford for over a century. Enticed to come to the valley by Reginald Parsons of the neighboring Hillcrest Orchard, brothers Leonard and Alfred Carpenter planted their pear orchards in 1909 using draft horse teams (background photo above). 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 “rocky knoll” along of Hillcrest Road in 1954, where they raised three children, Karen, Dunbar Scott, and Emily. They expanded the pear operation during the ensuing decades and packed pears in their own packing house under the Dunbar of Medford skiing pear label. In the mid 1970s, Dunbar began planting wine grapes on the slopes below their house, experimenting with different varietals and cultivating techniques.

 

Rocky Knoll and New Pears - 1910

Rocky Knoll, Wine Grapes & Hay - 2010

 

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 established the hay operation that replaced most of the pears. By 2006 the painstaking process of cultivating premium wine grapes was well established, and Brian and Emily’s son David had become highly involved in the vineyard and larger farm, the fourth generation to work the family farm.

     
 

 

2010 Rocky Knoll Wine Dinner

In recent years the farm has undergone significant change on varied fronts. Most significantly there has been a changing of the guard. Brian passed-away in 2005, followed shortly thereafter by both Dunbar and Jane. The next two generations now direct progress on the farm. The farm has further diversified into a wider variety of crops and has experimented with varied sales systems. The plans from here are to continue development towards greater direct to the community sales ranging from a Farm Stand/Tasting Room to a Full-Diet Farm Share to Wine/Food Events and Informative Tours of the farm.   

Original Farmhouse and Pears - 1912

Farmhouse Hill, Hay and Grains - 2010