“We then passed the entrance of the Willamette River, above which the tide ceases to be felt. Our [Chinook] guide informed us that up this river about a day's journey, there was a large waterfall and beyond it the country abounded in beaver, otter, deer, and other wild animals. Here, where we were, the rows of oaks and poplars lining both banks of the river, the green and flower-covered prairies glimpsed through the trees and the mountains seen in the distance presented a smiling and enchanting prospect to the observer who loved the beauties of simple nature. We camped for the night on the edge of one of these beautiful prairies.”
-Gabriel Franchère, writing in 1811 about the site that is today Portland, Oregon.
Five generations later, Gabriel Franchère's great great grandson Mike Hinds makes wine in the Willamette Valley. An Oregon native, Mike fell into a career in wine in Chicago, and spent several years working in wine shops before he decided to try his hand at making the stuff. He moved back to the Willamette Valley, enrolled in viticulture classes, and found work as a cellar rat for Illahe Vineyards before launching his own winery in 2013.
Mike has always had a clear vision for his winemaking and the sort of farming he looks for among his vineyard sources. No pesticides or irrigation, organic or biodynamic practices preferred. In the winery he's looking for complex aromas and elegant, spicy wines that show that peculiarities of the vineyard sites. "The wines are aged in used barrels and neutral tanks, and the end results are fresh, savory, and balanced."
With family roots in the Willamette Valley that go back two centuries, and proudly Cascadian themed labels, Mike Hinds is one of the most Oregonian winemakers out there. We're happy to have him in the store the afternoon of October 21st to pour samples of his latest releases and tell stories straight from the (wine) press.