RED ELECTRIC Team
Grape-grower Douglas Ackerman experienced his Oregon wine epiphany when served a bottle of 1993 Bethel Heights SE Block Pinot Noir at dinner in Salem. He simply could not believe that such a compelling and complete wine was produced a mere 8 miles from where he sat at that moment. His passion for great wine rapidly led him to the Old World, and the wines of Burgundy, Champagne, Piedmont and Austria in particular. By 2006, Doug and his wife Michele were convinced that Oregon was producing world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—and that they needed to be a part of the wine community. When a 16 acre parcel of a beautiful horse farm on Lewis Rogers Lane became available, Doug and Michele took the plunge and began the process of developing Armstrong Vineyard.
During the first five years of grape production, all Armstrong fruit was sold to terrific local wineries and developed a reputation for exceptional quality. Old friends Doug and John discussed the idea of starting a brand based solely on Armstrong fruit—and their common vision was immediately clear: here was an opportunity to utilize all sections of the vineyard to produce the balanced, beautiful and intense wines. For John, the opportunity to come full circle and work intensively with Ribbon Ridge fruit was irresistible. Doug and Michele are delighted to have such a talented and dedicated winemaker on board the Red Electric!
John Grochau is the winemaker and owner of Grochau Cellars in Amity, OR. After racing bicycles in France in his early 20’s, Grochau returned to his hometown of Portland, OR and found his calling in hospitality—and wine specifically. With more than a decade selling wine in some of Portland’s finest restaurants, including a 14-year stint at Higgins, Grochau plunged into winemaking. He spent a year in Sonoma before returning to Oregon to work at Erath Winery, and then worked alongside winemaker Doug Tunnel at Brick House Vineyards for four years. His first vintage as Grochau Cellars was 2002. Inspired by the diversity of the Willamette Valley’s soils and microclimates, Grochau strives to make wines that are balanced, textured and expressive of place. Working with grape varieties with a legacy in the Willamette Valley, Grochau also seeks to showcase the potential of emerging varieties like Gamay and Melon de Bourgogne.