Bill Wayne, owner of the Abbey Ridge Vineyard and cyclist was in Baker City on a group ride and he stopped by last month and spent the afternoon of his ‘rest day’ with me. It was a wonderful visit and we caught up on all the high notes of the past 25 years (since I left the Red Hills of Dundee and moved east!)
Things took an even sweeter turn 2 weeks later. Allen Holstein stopped in on his way back home from parts further east. Allen, owner of Holstein Vineyard, father of Jackson (Purple Hands Winery) and a fellow chocolate lover walked into BELLA at the same time that Bill came through on his second group ride. They were relocated here for a deju vu tour after the fires in CA forced a change in the ride plan.
So, here were are… two of my favorite grape growers, friends from my sommelier and grape stomping days… here where I planted myself in eastern Oregon on my own wine adventure. These boys are literally pilgrims in the Oregon grape story (not the only ones, but definitely my favorites!) and it was really a thrill to have them both here at BELLA Main Street Market. It was also a reminder about how much friendships shape our lives. We became friends when we were just pups and the wine business was barely a business. We are all still doing what we love, but differently. I was inspired by them back then and even more so now!