As is often the case, the start of a winery began with a sip. Thomas Monroe, co-owner of Portland’s Division Winemaking Co., says he and partner Kate Norris were initially inspired to create a winery in Oregon in the mid-2000s after tasting the dynamic yet restrained New-World-meets-old-winemaking-style of the Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs. The two were living in California at the time and about to head to the Midwest for business school.
Business school ultimately led to winemaking school in France during the great recession, but all the while, Oregon and the amazing wines of producers such as Belle Pente, Evesham Wood, Domaine Drouhin and others really stuck with them. They also had a chance to visit the area and connecting with the Portland community and family wineries really made an impression on them. Monroe says,
“The climate of this state — not only in terms of weather, but also in terms of the spirit of those that live here — inspired us to make the move to Oregon and start thinking about growing a winery after our studies were complete,” Monroe said.
While working and studying in France, they were exposed to a wide variety of wines, many of which were made with less well-known varieties in the U.S., such as Gamay and Chenin Blanc. They also discovered what winemaking and growing techniques resonated with them and realized… Read to complete story here on WinePress NW.