Thursday, June 17, 2010

Brooks Winery: Inspiration in Every Bottle

I first heard of Brooks Winery a number of years ago. Their story is one that will inspire and brings new meaning to the unity of the wine industry. Brooks Winery was founded in 1998 by Portland native Jimi Brooks. The winery is dedicated to organic and biodynamic farming producing world class Pinot Noir and Riesling. Nestled in the Eola-Amity Hills of the Willamette Valley, Brooks Winery has known hardship, having to overcome sadness in order to reach the top. 

Jimi Brooks was dedicated to both his family and making exceptional wines. In 2004, Jimi was a rising star in the Oregon wine industry when tragedy struck. At the young age of 38, Jimi suffered a fatal heart attack. Jimi intended to one day leave the winery to his son Pascal. With the unexpected death, the timing came well before planned. At this time, Pascal was not more than 7 years old. Making him the youngest winery owner ever. When I was 7 years old, I could hardly handle getting up for school everyday, let alone the responsibility of running the family business. As the tragedy of Jimi's death spread through the valley, winemakers and winery supporters came together to keep Brooks Winery alive. Teams of winemakers come together every year and volunteer their time and expertise in order to create each vintage. Along with a memorial fund in Pascel's name and family members running the winery, Brooks Winery has continued to create its legacy. 

As of 2006, Chris Williams came on at the Chief Winemaker, having worked with Jimi Brooks before at Willakenzie Estates. Chris is dedicated to helping Pascal continue Jimi's philosophy of winemaking. The 2006 vintage is also significant to Brooks Winery as their Ara Riesling was served at the White House for President Obama's first State Dinner.

The Brooks' Amycas white table wine is one of my favorites. It is a blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Muscat. Fermented in stainless steel this wine is crisp and aromatic. Overall, there is a great balance and structure to the wine. Lots of minerality, floral, apricot, melons and lime. A great summer wine to pair with seafood, salads, dips and cheese.

Every time I drink Brooks' wines, I feel inspired by each bottle to live out my dreams and support those around me. Life is short, sometimes unexpectedly short. It is so important to do what you love. I continue to purchase Brooks' wines not only because I thoroughly enjoy them, but to help support Pascal in continuing his dad's dream and legacy which I hope becomes his own.

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