Welcome to our Gamay Maker Series, where we introduce you to our passionate, infinitely interesting Gamay producers. They were kind enough to share their thoughts on what they love about making Gamay and we are excited to share their stories with you.
There’s no doubt Doug Tunnell of Brick House Vineyards has a deep connection to the Willamette Valley. Doug grew up in West Linn and after living around Europe as a foreign correspondent for CBS News, he returned to his roots with the desire to make the wines he enjoyed in France. He was confident they could be produced right here in Oregon.
In 1990, Doug bought Brick House Vineyard in Newberg, with the commitment to go all in on organic farming. He says witnessing the effects of paper mills while growing up in West Linn made him determined to farm chemical-free. He first planted Pinot Noir, and then Gamay grapes in 1992, dreaming of the wines he drank in France’s Beaujolais region. “It made sense that if Pinot Noir does well in the Willamette Valley, then Gamay should do well too,” he explains.
Doug embraced the concept of biodynamic wine-making and along with a dozen fellow early-adopters in the Willamette Valley, hired a teacher to help them understand the concepts and put the holistic approach to farming into practice. His certified organic wines were in demand as soon as he started making them.
Now more than two decades into making Gamay, Doug is still as excited as ever about the finished product. “There’s a lovely natural brightness, a result of acidity, that allows it to be enjoyed with food. It’s the utility linebacker – pizza, spaghetti, fish – it speaks to so many different cuisines.”
This approachability is what makes us so thrilled to spotlight the Gamay produced by Doug and the many other Oregon winemakers featured at our celebration. Join us for our Gamay Collaborative Dinner or the Tasting Salon. Or come out both nights! That’s how good Gamay can be. See you in May!
**Thank you Doug Tunnell of Brick House**