For me, it began in the unlikeliest of places. Washington D.C. I’d started in the industry at a highly-regarded wine retailer. Our clientele was a mixed bag; politicians and business people, chefs and industry folk, enthusiasts and new-comers to wine. Mostly, they were there for the revered French and Italian wines. The California offerings were also popular, as were other regions that were finding increased favor with our customers. But it was Oregon pinots that made the biggest impact on me. After several years in the retail side of the business I entered the distribution side in Massachusetts while my wife attended Veterinary school. This added another dimension to my understanding of the industry, an important perspective.
Once my wife completed Vet school we were ready to head West. Our first stop was Northern California. Here I had the opportunity to build on my experience with a more formal education in Napa and Sonoma. I attended enology and viticulture school where we dove into the science of it all. Still my favorite part was getting my hands dirty — working in the vineyard. Despite all the potential to shape a wine in the winery, it was clear that the heart of it came from the vineyard. But in Napa, the climate just wasn’t right. Our next and final stop was the Willamette Valley.
The first drive up the long gravel road to Evesham Wood to meet Russ Raney was a fortuitous one — maybe even clandestine. It just felt right. Upon first meeting Russ, it became clear that we shared a philosophy. Since that first meeting he has become a mentor and a good friend. He graciously allowed me to apprentice under him and to make my first wines with him. This was the birth of Haden Fig. Even now, as I have found myself at the helm of Evesham Wood, Haden Fig has a special place in my heart. A place for me to express myself.