Brooks: A Willamette Valley Wine Tribute
This year’s harvest at Brooks winery in the Willamette Valley is a reminder of their phoenix like ability to rise from the ashes of great loss to grow and thrive. Today the winery is a robust enterprise with a beautiful tasting room, loyal customers, and award-winning wine but if not for the generosity of fellow winemakers they might not exist. In 2004 two weeks before harvest, Jimi Brooks, owner/winemaker died suddenly. As a show of camaraderie and support, a dozen winemakers agreed together to bring in the Brooks harvest and make wine from the grapes.
That act of generosity is probably the single reason the winery exists today and continues in the legacy and vision of Jimi Brooks. The winery is run by sister Janie Brooks so that one day Pascal, age 19, can take over the leadership. Their tasting room pays tribute to those wineries that produced the wine in 2004 by displaying each of the names on a barrel stave displayed throughout the tasting room.
Guests feel part of the family and are encouraged to linger in the tasting room and grounds to enjoy charcuterie, a bottle of wine and relax. Brooks makes single vineyard Pinot Noir as well as Riesling from their location in the Amity Hills of the Willamette Valley. Their 8 single vintage Rieslings are rather unique in the region best known for Pinot Noir. And they craft small lots of Pinot Noir, offering a selection of eight single vineyard choices.
At Brooks they continue to embrace biodynamic farming and minimal handling in the cellar allowing the grapes to express themselves in their wines. Brooks has risen from the ashes to become a much loved winery just as their founder envisioned.
2013 Runaway Red Pinot Noir, $23: The name comes from a barrel that escaped and rolled down the hill into the creek, miraculously surviving without damage to the wine. This is a bold wine with dark fruit flavors.
2012 Janus Pinot Noir, $38: It is their flagship wine and Janus is the Roman God of balance. In the Willamette Valley the weather varies dramatically between warm and cool years. 2012 was a warm year and the flavors are luscious with cherry flavors, similar to the Russian River.
More about Brooks Wines:
They were featured in American Wine Story Film. Visit: open Tuesday – Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm, located at 21101 SE Cherry Blossom Lane, Amity, Oregon 97101, phone 503.435.1278.
BY: KARLA EROVICK, WINE & TRAVEL WRITER
As an experienced global traveler, Karla has lived in Dubai, hiked the jungles of Panama and studied Spanish in Seville. She has written over 500 articles for online and print publications for local and international destinations. She recently relocated from San Francisco to the Willamette Valley where she is enjoying an immersion in all things Pinot Noir.
Publications include Frontier Airlines Wild Blue Yonder, Napa Valley Life Magazine, JetsetExtra.com; Examiner.com and dating guide, Love to Date – Date to Love: Unlocking the Secrets of Dating. Twitter: @IntnlGal Instagram: @IntnlGal LinkedIn: Karla Erovick LEED AP