What began as the realization that my degree in economics may not lead to a fulfilling career path in the credit card world became a cross-country journey, with stops in Fresno, Seattle, San Luis Obispo, Eugene, and McMinnville. I reached out to winemaking icons Mark Beringer and Bob Sessions, and with their encouragement, made the pilgrimage to California State University Fresno. Armed with a degree in enology, I learned to make wine at places like Chateau Ste. Michele, Edna Valley Vineyard, Benton-Lane Winery, and Dobbes Family Estate. Having discovered early on that pinot noir was my favorite wine to consume, and not being one to shy away from a good challenge, it was inevitable that I would choose pinot as my winemaking focus. And one of the best places in the world to do that is in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
Having made acclaimed wines for others, in 2009 I decided it was time to strike out on my own. My focus is on identifying outstanding, small, sustainably-farmed vineyards that allow me to showcase their unique attributes in the wines that I create from them. For our inaugural release we have been very fortunate to have located a wonderful vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA owned by the Kiff family, and I am very excited about working with the fruit from this site. As Denison Cellars grows we will continue to identify unique sites to source fruit, and we hope you will enjoy our wines as much as we enjoy making them!
I knew early on that Tim would be successful at whatever he set his mind to. He is very goal-oriented, talented, and determined. My career as an RN has provided the flexibility for him to pursue his dream of making wine under our own label.
I have learned to appreciate the craft of winemaking by accompanying Tim along each step of the way. It has been a fascinating process to observe, and rewarding to participate in areas where I am able – from leaf pulling in the vineyard, to monitoring fruit ripeness, making picking decisions, and observing Tim’s talent in the blending process. I love seeing how each clone contributes distinct flavors and textures, as does each barrel, and how all the components, when combined, result in a synergy that can make beautiful wine. Tim’s degree in enology is science-based, but I believe his artistic talent inspires him, especially in the area of blending his wines.
We both enjoy cooking, and even with busy work and family schedules, take time most days to sit down for a family meal together with our two sons. We feel strongly that taking this time together gives us important balance in our lives. Creating Denison Cellars has been a wonderful choice for our family, as it allows Tim to use his talent and creativity while enabling us to maintain balanced lives. We are grateful for those along the way who have been a part of our journey, and we are excited to share Denison Cellars wines with those who share our passion for fine wine!