Near the end of the last ice age about 15,000 years ago, massive lakes in what is now Northern Montana would occasionally have the blocks of ice damming them break, sending as much as 10-17 cubic kilometers per hour of floodwaters barreling across the landscape of Idaho, Washington and Oregon, bringing with them mud and rocks of all size and shape from gravel to boulders the size of buildings. As this mass reached the Oregon coast the Coastal Range and icy logjams diverted the water to the south, filling the area now known as the Willamette Valley. The visit S&M took to Oregon in February was undoubtedly less impactful on the landscape, but the place had a similar power on us. In a short time we met a great many wine and cider makers, vineyard managers and garage wizards, and all of them impressed on us a sense of service to the land, a feeling of stewardship. Whether walking through the hushed afternoon vines of Johan among giant old trees, or Art + Science's nursery orchard with a friendly dog padding along behind. The people we met were inquisitive, humble, reverent to the nature that surrounded us. They were making wine out of a compulsive passion, without shortcuts or cynicism. With everything going on it's tough for a fledgling distribution business to add many new wineries but we were energized by the products we discovered in Oregon and couldn't help but bring what we could to Colorado to share.
Matt Mitton writes most of these because Steve is shy.