The Wizard of Hood River (Hiyu Wine Farms)
Nate Ready looks like a wizard. His long grey beard flows in the breeze as he walks through the vines on his farm. And it is truly a farm. He and his partner China are proponents of deeply regenerative agriculture and maintain what may be the only regenerative polyculture vineyard in the United States. Of their 30 acres, 14 of them are planted to vines. They grow 80 different varieties across a number of vineyard plots. Occasionally they may break out a hand scythe to tend to the cover crop, but mostly this is handled by the cows, chickens, pigs, and ducks that roam their hills. The vineyards are overgrown with a blanket of natural cover. Wild and tended with deep love, this is as real and as natural as winemaking gets. The only chemicals that come into contact with the vines are cinnamon oil (to control mildew) and herbal teas. The only time the vines are cut is when the grapes are pruned. There is no trimming, no dry harvest or leaf pulling. There is no interruption of the vines’ natural growing cycle. This is as close to a wild system as one can get. The resulting wines exist in a world all on to their own.
We'll be tasting: