- Apples to Apples
A to Z Wineworks was started in 2002 by four friends, Oregon wine industry veterans, Deb Hatcher (Eyrie), Bill Hatcher (Domaine Drouhin Oregon), Sam Tannahill (Archery Summit) and Cheryl Francis (Chehalem). The two couples worked in the Hatcher's kitchen to build the original blend honored by Food & Wine magazine as the Best American Pinot Noir under $20. Today, A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir has twice been named to Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of the year.
REX HILL has been making elegant Pinot Noirs for over 30 years in Oregon’s Willamette Valley at the gateway to Oregon’s wine country. REX HILL honors exceptional single vineyards and continues a legacy of singular Pinot Noirs that reflect their origin. That sense of place is paramount to the way we farm our land and make our wines.
Francis Tannahill was founded in 2001 by Cheryl Francis and Sam Tannahill to make wines that balance power and concentration with integrity and elegance. Select growers, vineyards and blocks are chosen and carefully tended to purely express unique terroirs using old fashioned techniques and impeccable winemaking. Both Sam Tannahill and Cheryl Francis have worked in France, New Zealand, California & Oregon.
Not having paid attention on Career Day, my occupational choices upon leaving my fourteen year post as Managing Director of Domaine Drouhin in 2001 were winemaker and accordion repairman. Doing a bit of market research, I found that Oregon was already saturated with accordion repairmen (2) but there weren't nearly enough winemakers (250). Thus, William Hatcher Pinot Noir came to fruition in a manner of speaking. Because Deb thought paying the bills was a good idea, I joined her, Sam & Cheryl in building A to Z Wineworks, perhaps a rare example of the dog actually catching the bus.
Oregon is home to many breweries throughout the state, located in Portland, Bend, Eastern Oregon, Cascade Locks, and the Columbia Gorge just to name a few. Some of our favorites include Deschutes Brewery (Bend, Oregon), Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene, Oregon), and Widmer Brothers Brewing (Portland, Oregon).
As the self-proclaimed food & beverage capital (well, mostly beverage), it is a must for Oregon to have distilleries. There are approximately two dozen craft distilleries across the state producing gin, vodka, whiskey, brandy, liqueurs and more. Two of our favorite local producers are Bull Run Distilling Company (Portland, Oregon) and Clear Creek Distillery (Portland, Oregon).