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In Loving Memory: 1955-2017

Patty Green

In her loving memory: 1955-2017

Patty was clearly one of the most exceptionally gifted and intuitive winemakers in Oregon, which she never received tons of credit for being so. Part of that is certainly because she never sought that stuff out and we probably went out of our way to avoid anything vaguely resembling publicity. What she had and certainly one of the things I learned from her was a natural, holistic and encompassing view of agriculture and winemaking intertwined together. It is something people talk about but I don’t necessarily find backed up all the time by people’s actions or their wines. She believed fervently in the vineyards we worked with, the people that owned and managed them and our ability to show the “place-ness” of each site we worked with. This is not a radical concept now in Oregon. Lots of wineries talk about their sites’ geological make-up, micro-climate and such, but 15-20 years ago that wasn’t really the case. While, perhaps, we had not fully grasped the specifics of our sites and the impact they had on the wines she was dedicated to the individual natures of these sites well before that became fashionable in Oregon.

Patty wanted to make things naturally. That is not to say that we make natural wines or are seen in any way as a natural wine winery even though we probably operate in a way that would easily include us in that spectrum (for whatever that is worth). She felt that from the right sites everything was already available to make wines that were interesting, unique and soulful. She wasn’t a technocrat on wines and never felt like math and science were the answers to getting from fruit to wine. They helped in the process but you needed to enter with a feeling for the vineyard so that you could allow that expression to be revealed in the resulting wine. If you go in with the idea that you know how to “make” the wine or even really have a conception of what you want that wine to be like stylistically then you aren’t going about things the correct way to begin with. From my times in Burgundy I have seen that sort of “bottom up” approach to the synthesis between agriculture and enology being the basis of the domaines I love the most. She had that before she even knew it was a thing, of that I am certain. That what she did gets passed on through the wines that will continue to be made here is a given. We had a special simpatico type of relationship and we learned lessons together over 25 years so the beauty and special nature of the wines from Patricia Green Cellars is going to live on.

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