Meet the JBs and Hear About Vintage 2021

Meet the JBs and Hear About Vintage 2021


5 minutes reading

Dear Friends,

What a busy busy week. I had to remember that I just arrived in Oregon on Monday as it already feels like I have been here longer than that! I have spent a lot of time in the tasting room visiting with Wine Club Members and guests. I have seen some old family friends. I am looking forward to hosting guests today for our Vineyard and Garden Walking Tour.

I am thinking of everyone that is affected by the fires. The Bootleg fire in Southern Oregon is the size of Los Angeles. It is about 4 hours southeast of us. I am grateful to the firefighters and everyone that is trying to get it under control.

I have some fun stories to share today as well as how the vines are doing. Happy reading.

Cheers to Sunday,


JB Times 3 or 5?

Janie with John Brooks and Josh Bergstrom
Josh Bergstrom, Janie Brooks (me),  and John Brooks

Yesterday, I was fortunate to spend time with two people that have been by my side since my brother, Jimi Brooks, (another JB) passed away. I want to tell you why they are both so special to me.

Josh Bergstrom is the owner and winemaker at Bergstrom Wines. He and my brother came into the industry at about the same time and were very good friends. They actually dined together at Tina’s the night before Jimi passed away. Josh was one of the last people to see him. Our relationship goes a generation beyond that. Josh’s father was an excellent OB/GYN in Portland. When he would deliver babies, the Pediatrician that cared for the newborn was my father, Jim Brooks (another JB)! Josh was one of the 12 winemakers that took our fruit and made the wine for free upon Jimi’s sudden passing. He actually to make wine for us for a few years after. He is someone I rely on for wisdom and advice in the wine industry. It was absolutely lovely to spend time with him and his wife, Caroline, yesterday. And he makes excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Here is a link to his website.

On the right is John Brooks, a very dear friend and quite possibly our very first Wine Club Member dating back in 2005 or so. John first discovered our wines at MacArthur’s Beverage in Washington DC. He was so proud that the wine with his name was delicious, he set out to get in contact with Jimi. It was within weeks of Jimi’s passing, so he sent the email to me instead. It started with “Dear Cousin”. I will admit things were hectic for me at that time and I was slow to respond. I was also feeling very alone at that time having lost my parents and brother in such a short window. I was so touched by his offer to be my cousin, I jumped at the chance. The decade and a half of friendship is a pillar of strength I continue to lean on. John, his lovely wife Gayle, and their friends make an annual trip to the Willamette Valley. That is the reason I scheduled my trip up here last week, to coincide with their visit. It has been wonderful to spend time together and I will be sad tonight when I say goodbye.

2021 Vintage Looking Strong

Brooks Estate Riesling (left) and Pommard (right) planted in 1974.
Brooks Estate Riesling (left) and Pommard (right) planted in 1974. Some of the oldest vines in the Willamette Valley.

Many of you have asked about how the 2021 vintage is going. We can barely contain our excitement at Brooks for harvest after the devastating year of 2020. Similar to 2020, we had rain during bloom in June. Rain physically inhibits pollination and fertilization resulting in a lesser crop so we know that our yields will be less than normal. Lower yields does tend to result in concentrated fruit that makes incredible wines. Also in June, we had 3 days over 100 degrees, one of which was over 110. This resulted in accelerated growth in the vines. We have been working diligently to keep up with trellising. We also had some burn in the riesling leaves. The good news is our vines were planted in the 1970s and are strong and wise. They have deep roots that allow them to get all the water they need. They have come through like champs and the fruit is beautiful. 

The single cluster photo on the left is our Old Vine Riesling. The three clusters on the right are the Old Vine Pommard. We are on the last call for the wines from these vines. If you have enjoyed them or are yet to try them, now is your chance! Get them while you can and just email Heather if you want to wait until cooler weather to ship them!

Purchase the 2017 Old Vine Pommard

Purchase The 2018 Old Vine Riesling

Left artichoke flowers. Right: A trellis using old barrel staves
The bees love the artichoke flowers. Winemaker Chris helped Gardener Shannon build a new trellis using old barrel staves. Soon it will be covered with hops.

Feel free to reach out: or 831-238-4828.