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 looking relaxed on the beach

Pascal Brooks


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 sitting in comfy chair on Brooks Patio

Janie Brooks Heuck

Managing Director & Boss Lady

Portland native Janie Brooks Heuck spent more than a decade in the healthcare 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?!

Claire working hard in the Brooks Winery

Claire Jarreau


At Brooks, Claire is the winemaker and also manages relationships with our growers and vineyard manager. 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. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking, camping, canoeing, and climbing. She also makes a mean wild duck gumbo—she’s from the South, after all.

Chris Williams

Winemaker Emeritus

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 help Claire 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.

Heather drinking white wine while feeding the Brooks chickens

Heather Kirk

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 good that 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.

Jillian in the vineyard drinking red wine from Brooks Glass

Jillian Barnhart

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 taking photos around the winery, 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 if you put a glass of Pol Roger Churchill Champagne in her hand, she’ll hang out with just about anyone.

Hannah McKay

Tasting Room Manager

Hannah brings her leadership skills, enthusiasm, and love of wine to Brooks. Although she hasn’t been with Brooks long, she is already smitten with the culture, the story, and most importantly, the people.

Hannah enjoys watching true crime documentaries, taking spontaneous beach trips, and hanging out with her family, dog, and two cats in her free time.

If you go to Hannah’s for dinner, a chicken noodle casserole will be on the table. She’s a big fan of comfort food.

Her spirit animal is a red panda because they eat and sleep in the sun. Goals.

April drinking red wine from Brooks glass

April Abate

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.

Shannon smiling at camera and sharing wildflowers from Brooks garden

Shannon Mayhew

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.

Josh Forkner

Culinary Director

Josh joins the Brooks team with a wealth of experience as a seasoned winery and restaurant chef. His passion for crafting dishes that complement and enhance Brooks’ wines and his dedication to sourcing fresh ingredients from our Estate Garden align seamlessly with Brooks’ emphasis on wines, hospitality, and commitment to biodynamics and sustainability.

A native Oregonian, Josh loves finding solace outdoors, whether tending to his garden, fishing, or exploring nature through hiking. He is also an artist. Painting and drawing are hidden talents that lie beneath his quiet and analytical exterior.

When he isn’t in the Brooks kitchen, he can be found hanging out with his family, listening to Modest Mouse, and enjoying a glass of Pinot Noir, his favorite grape varietal, because, for him, it is an embodiment of Oregon’s character, showcasing versatility and depth akin to the state’s diverse landscapes.

Zachary Speece

DTC & Wine Club Assistant

Zachary has a true passion for wine, bringing years of experience working in tasting rooms, cellars, and vineyards to his position at Brooks. He genuinely loves the wines and the people of Brooks. As he proudly says, “We’re not pretentious. We just have good wine and food, and we like to share it.”

With his charming humility and infectious enthusiasm, Zachary plays an integral part in creating the extraordinary guest experience at Brooks.

When Zachary isn’t working, you might find him on the golf course or crafting his own blackberry wine. Ask him to whip up a quick dish, and he’ll likely treat you to a delectable pan-seared steak paired with a Nebbiolo from Piedmont.

He’s a man of many talents, excelling at pool and table tennis, so if you’re up for a friendly competition, you know who to call.

Jimi Brooks

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.

Brightly colored watercolor illustration of Planet Earth

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.

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Demeter Certified Biodynamic
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