Founded by Ted and Meri Gerber, Foris Winery and Vineyards is family-owned and family-managed. A graduate of Cal State Hayward in 1969, Ted studied political science and public administration. During his college years, he also developed a passion for making homemade wine. In 1971, Ted and Meri purchased hillside acreage in southern Oregon’s remote Illinois Valley with the specific intention of growing grapes. Starting from scratch, they built a house, bought the land that is now Gerber Vineyards, and began planting grapes.
For a number of years they provided fruit to various vintners in southern Oregon, and in 1986 started producing their own wines under the Foris label. Meri passed away in 2000 after a lengthy illness, and in 2003 Ted married his present wife, Terri, a health professional with thirty years of medical experience and an avid interest in photography and landscape painting. Terri is responsible for keeping the vineyards’ books, employee safety, and helping out with the administrative needs of the winery.
Alicia Gerber, Ted’s daughter, came of age in the family vineyard. She studied childhood development in college and went out into the world on her own for a number of years. During her mother’s illness, however, she returned home to help out and never looked back. Because she loves gardening and all things that grow, working alongside her father proved a natural fit. She is a full time mom and part time around the winery (bottling) in addition to gardening, some green house work, and some management on our vacation rentals. Alicia, her son, Skylar, and daughter, Ava live on Maple Ranch in the foothills of the Siskiyous Mountains, a few short minutes east of Gerber Vineyards.
Terri’s daughter, Heidi, and her daughter Alex, and partner Cole are also part of the Foris Family. Heidi, Alex and Cole make their home at Cedar Ranch Vineyard, not too far from Maple Ranch. Heidi has learned the wine business from the ground up, devoting the majority of her time working in the Foris business office, managing the Wine Club and Tasting Room, as well as assisting winemaker Stephanie Pao with cellar tracking during harvest. She also assists the marketing director implementing a wide range of projects and tasks.
Heidi enjoys planning the winery garden every year, starting each flower and vegetable from seed.