Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability
Winegrowers go green for future generations
By L.M. Archer
Oregon leads the country in more than premium wine growth; according to the Oregon Wine Board, 48 percent of Oregon vineyards are currently certified sustainable. Here’s how a few are sowing the seeds for future generations.
Sustaining a Legacy
When 38-year old winemaker Jimi Brooks of Brooks Wine died tragically in 2004 of an aortic aneurism, he left behind an eight-year-old son, Pascal. Now 22, Pascal Brooks carries himself with the quiet grace of an old soul belying a youth burdened with high expectations.
A recent graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz, Pascal speaks to his future in winemaking, “I don’t know, I think I’m still too young, and the world is so big. I would like to explore. For a long time it was my concern that I didn’t want to be funneled into anything. But it’s also because I’m afraid that I wouldn’t have the passion to do it. Talking to Tad [Seestedt from Ransom Spirits] — he was a close friend of my dad — I remember asking him about working 100-hour work weeks, “Why do you do it?” He explained, “It takes an obsessive trait.” For me, I know that if the going gets rough, I would hope I would have the passion that I’ve seen other people do to complete it. I know my dad had that, and I see it in Chris and Janie.”
Mentor and family friend Seestedt concurs, “I think he [Jimi] touched a lot of people. Pascal is that next generation.”
But Jimi Brooks didn’t only leave behind a son. Jimi’s sister, Janie Brooks Heuck, helps carry the message of her brother’s vision. “When Chris and I decided to keep the winery going, it was really about keeping Jimi’s vision going, not that either one of us really wanted to get in and do this for a living. I definitely had no ideas about what my philosophy would be. Nothing.” Read more here.