Brooks Winery in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, is celebrating their 20th anniversary. I knew about the winery and had tasted their Pinot Noirs at World of Pinot Noir in the past. But I was able to visit Brooks on a recent visit to the Willamette Valley. On this visit, I was introduced to their delicious Rieslings and learned the story of how friendship kept the winery going. I shared the story in my column in the Napa Valley Register which you can read here.
In 1998, Jimi Brooks started Brooks Winery, focusing on Oregon’s potential for expressive, complex and balanced Riesling and Pinot Noir.
In 2004, at the age of 38, Brooks unexpectedly passed away two weeks before harvest. A group of his friends donated their skills and time to make the 2004 wines in Jimi’s style. Twenty years later, Brooks Winery continues to produce delicious wines under his name under the guidance of Jimi’s sister, Janie Brooks, and his friend and winemaker Chris Williams.
As Maude journeyed to a new wine region in the world for the fourth quarter of 2018, they landed in Piedmont, Italy. The most prestigious wine region in Italy, Piedmont, which means "foot of the mountains", is between the Ligurian coast and the Alps in northwest Italy. Home to Nebbiolo and Barbera, as well as hazelnuts, cheese, chocolate and Alba white truffles, we were in for a treat.
I spent six months living in Piedmont, in the town of Vercelli, the riso (rice) capital of Italy. I was not knowledgeable about wine at the time, nor would I have called myself a foodie. But, I was introduced to the wines and many of the classic dishes and Maude's Piedmont menu was a twist on these memorable dishes.