Notes from Hundred Suns:
"When we met over 16 years ago, we agreed on a fundamental idea: we wanted to build a life together that felt like an adventure. We left California for Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where Grant first worked as assistant winemaker at Hamacher wines and then spent the bulk of 10 years as assistant winemaker and then winemaker at Beaux Freres. Those ten years were rich. Renée continued teaching high school while Grant gained intimate understanding and appreciation of the soils, climates, and personalities (both land and people) of the valley. We started a family. We made good friends, drank beautiful wines, and dreamed of a life that would bring us more together than apart.
In 2015, we sold our house in Portland, scraped together every penny we had, and moved to a fixer-upper in the the valley so that we could build Hundred Suns. Eventually, Grant moved on from being winemaker at Beaux Freres to overseeing the vineyards and making the wines for Flaneur Wines, and Renée swapped the classroom for the cellar and running of the day-to-day business. From winemaking, to label design, website building, and even wax dipping bottles by hand, every aspect of this process has our fingerprints on it because it is just the two of us.
In 2018 we bought a 4.5 acre property in the Eola-Amity hills where the 50 year-old vineyard was our children’s backyard. In 2020, disease forced us to remove those old vines, and now we look forward to replanting in spring of 2022. Farming this site will bring us even closer to the wines that we have the pleasure of making and managing together. So far it has been a beautiful adventure indeed, and we’re just getting started.
This vineyard, hidden amidst the trees on the Ribbon Ridge, was planted on Marine Sedimentary soils in 2012 and 2013 by Beaux Freres founder, Mike Etzel and his wife, Carey Critchlow. At 425 feet elevation, the site is contiguous to Beaux Freres’s Upper Terrace and hosts a list of unique clones: Chalone, Mt. Eden, Rochioli, Musigny, Pommard, Wadensvil, 667, 777, 943, M100….
We feel honored to have been offered this fruit by Mike and Carey because outside of the Etzel family projects, only Walter Scott and Hundred Suns receive fruit from this extraordinary site. More importantly, after Grant’s 9 years at Beaux Freres, Mike and Carey feel like family to us, and we love to stay connected to them through this vineyard."