The People of Brooks
Brooks is the living legacy of Jimi Brooks, a visionary Portland native who came to wine through his passion for history and philosophy. Together, we carry forward his commitment to the land, the wine, and each other.
Pascal Brooks is the sole owner of Brooks, having inherited the winery at the age of eight when his Father, Jimi Brooks, unexpectedly passed away. Until that time, Pascal acted as moral support for his Father and the occasional stand-in for punch-downs as soon as he could handle the tool. After Jimi passed, Pascal came to represent the company at events and spent many of his summers at Brooks, working alongside Chris during bottling and for part of the harvest. Pascal currently resides in France, where he has worked harvest at various vineyards and spends a lot of time with greening projects, trying to vegetalize urban spaces, and improving food security. Pascal loves to read, has basic carpentry skills, knows how to keep bees, and can (sort of) ride a horse. He’s been told that he’s a great singer when no one is listening, and his spirit animal is an emu with some serious sea cucumber vibes.
Janie Brooks Heuck
Managing Director & Boss Lady
Portland native Janie Brooks Heuck spent more than a decade in the health care industry before finding herself responsible for the business operations at Brooks Winery. Struck by the generosity and guidance from the Oregon wine community after her brother Jimi’s passing, Janie quickly realized the importance of Jimi’s lifework and has been keeping the Brooks boat afloat since 2004. Janie is passionate about Brooks, family, travel, and Riesling. She loves to golf, sail, work out, and take photos when she isn’t working. Her karaoke song is “Rapper’s Delight,” which is also our winemaker, Chris Williams’ karaoke song, yet none of us have witnessed either one of them on the mic. Can someone say duet?!
Portland native Chris Williams met Brooks founder Jimi in the ’90s, and the two became fast friends. When Jimi passed away in 2004, Chris was among the friends and winemakers who stepped in to make Jimi’s wine that year. Chris became Brooks’ full-time winemaker in 2005, and he continues to make incredible wines that honor Jimi’s vision (we are so glad that Chris didn’t pursue becoming a fashion designer!). A self-proclaimed motorhead, Chris spends his downtime riding motorcycles, mushroom hunting, and spending time with his family. He makes a mean spaghetti and meatballs and is a bona fide milk connoisseur.
Director of Wine Club Happiness & Mother of Brooks’ Chicken
Heather has deep roots here at Brooks. Her Father planted the Brooks Estate Vineyard in the ’70s, and she currently resides next door to the tasting room. You can often catch a glimpse of her on her deck, enjoying a glass of Pinot Blanc with her friends and family. Heather is a recent empty-nester and admits that she’s a bit of a helicopter mom to her two sons. It’s a good thing we have all these chickens at Brooks to keep her busy! If you have not had the privilege of meeting Heather in person, it’s true: her laugh will warm your heart and make the sun shine a little bit brighter.
Director of Tasting Room Operations
Dayson is the glue that holds the Brooks tasting room together, overseeing the staff and day-to-day operations. He loves being part of the Brooks family, and he enjoys the beautiful views and fantastic wine. Dayson is the Assistant Track & Field Coach at Linfield University, coaching the men’s and women’s pole vault in his spare time. His happy place is with his wife, son, and daughter on their annual trip to Hawaii, where he’s from. Put on a Star Wars movie and open a good bottle of Riesling, and Dayson will whip you up a killer fried rice.
At Brooks, Claire oversees wine production, manages relationships with our growers, our estate vineyard’s farming, and everything else related to winemaking. She loves the seasonality of all of the work she gets to do and how that shapes her days, weeks, and months. Claire came to Brooks with a wealth of knowledge and years of experience working harvests in the Willamette Valley and several other countries. Claire is adventurous and independent and enjoys backpacking, camping, canoeing, and climbing in her free time. She also makes a mean wild duck gumbo; she’s from the South, after all.
Director of Marketing
Jillian is Brooks’ marketing maven, sommelier, and photographer. She came to us from Los Angeles, where she worked as a photographer and sommelier for over a decade. On any given day, she can be found at Brooks photographing the winery pups for Instagram, shooting cooking videos with Chef Norma, writing wine tasting notes, or assessing wines for media submissions. When she’s not at work, Jillian can be found hiking, kayaking, biking, cooking, traveling, and of course, enjoying wine. She mostly enjoys spending time with her husband, Aaron, daughter, Ara, and French Bulldog, Gideon, but put a glass of Pol Roger Churchill Champagne in her hand, and she’ll hang out with just about anyone.
Chef Norma came to Brooks after many years working in various kitchens throughout the Willamette Valley. She loves creating dishes for the monthly menu with fresh ingredients sourced from the Brooks Estate Garden and top-quality, local purveyors. Norma is married to Brooks’ Cellar Master, Darrick Green, and is mom to Potato the Corgi, one of the Brooks pups. Norma can be found in nature or at the beach with a good cocktail or glass of Brooks wine when she’s not at work. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying Chef Norma’s food, what are you waiting for? Come in and see her (just watch out for those pony whips)!
Director of Business Development & Education
April creates and nurtures relationships here at Brooks, leads our virtual experiences, and shares her love and knowledge of all things wine with our team and our guests. She came to us after a 10-year career as a teacher. She loves the wines at Brooks and the ideals that guide the company. April loves doing yoga, cooking, and hanging out with her favorite person: her 5-year-old niece. One of her favorite pairings is listening to Adele with a glass of Chenin Blanc, and her spirit animal is Ina Garten.
Fabulous Fulfillment & Wine Club Coordinator
Lauren helps Heather with all things wine club and oversees wine shipments and deliveries. Her vibrant and positive energy is truly contagious. She loves Brooks’ values and that we take care of our people and the planet. Before coming to Brooks, we think Lauren may have been an international woman of mystery, having volunteered in Africa at a women’s nonprofit and ridden motorbikes through the mountains of Northern Vietnam. These days she is content hiking with her dog or enjoying live music and a good glass of Riesling.
Biodynamic Estate Gardener
Shannon is the magical, light-filled being who can be found in the Brooks Estate Garden on any given day. She came to Brooks from California with a degree in plant science from UC Davis. She loves the friendships she’s made at Brooks, growing medicinal plants, herbs, and biodynamic veggies used in the tasting room, and getting to take care of the Brooks chickens and create a habitat for wildlife. Shannon loves to go hiking and mushroom foraging. If she’s not outside, she’s reading, knitting, honing her whittling skills, or cooking a beautiful vegan meal for her friends.
Founder, Father & Friend
After traveling the world and experiencing the hard work of winemaking in Beaujolais, Jimi returned to Oregon and found a burgeoning wine world. He devoted the rest of his life to holistic farming and winemaking in the Willamette Valley, showcasing the region’s potential for expressive, complex and balanced Riesling and Pinot Noir.
While Jimi is no longer with us, his strong commitment to biodynamic farming, his gentle approach to winemaking and his excitement for the Willamette Valley terroir live on through our wines and our team. Jimi’s son Pascal is the sole owner of the winery; Jimi’s sister Janie Brooks Heuck has volunteered her time to lead it; and Jimi’s longtime friend and winemaking accomplice, Chris Williams, continues to make Brooks’ wines.
There have been many milestones since Brooks was founded in 1998. In 2008, we expanded our winemaking operations and purchased the 20-acre vineyard Jimi started farming in 2002. In 2012, we obtained biodynamic certification from Demeter. In 2014, we opened a new winery and tasting room. Our welcoming tasting room, with its ample seating and wine bar, overlooks the Cascade Range and the Willamette Valley floor, perfect for gatherings with friends and family–a fitting reflection of Jimi’s vision.
It took a community to make Jimi’s vision a reality. Listen to the stories of the friends who selflessly donated their skill, time, and passion to make Jimi’s 2004 wines possible.
Be the change.
At Brooks, we believe that good wine starts with being good to our planet and our people. We work just as hard at growing our grapes and making superior wine as we do at making tomorrow a better place for each and every one of us.