My first position in Oregon was in August of 2005, ﬁnding a harvest position with Erath Vineyards Winery. I loved the pace and intrigue and smells of the work, and the inspiration of working in such a beautiful place, high in the Dundee Hills, with fun and interesting people my age from local places as well as Australia and New Zealand. That January I interviewed with Laurent Montalieu of Northwest Wine Company and Solena Cellars and started a job that would be my true education in Winemaking.
Initially I handled all packaging and logistics for bottling of over 90 different skus, between 25 small clients we were making wine for as well as bottling and ﬁltration services for several other wineries who used our winery as a bottling and packaging facility. Over the next few years I phased into cellar master and was later promoted to assistant winemaker.
During my time with Laurent we ﬂuctuated between the 3rd and 5th largest producer in the state. During the ﬁve and a half years with Laurent, I oversaw and executed winemaking for several prominent Oregon brands, as well as attended symposiums, conferences, underwent coursework in winemaking science technology, and networked with over 120 different growers in the region. It was during the latter stages of this time that I grew to understand my favorite wines were coming from the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Vineyards like Zena Crown, (now owned by KJ), Roserock, (now owned by Drouhin), WIllakia, (now St. Michelle), were some of the vineyards which produced the most consistently powerful and driven Pinot Noirs.