Our Story: Tom & Deb
Occasionally we’re asked the meaning of “Le Cadeau”. Le Cadeau translates as “the gift” but we’re quick to point out that the wine is not the gift. The wine is only the excuse.
The gift is the beauty of the land along with joy-filled relationships, and the freedom and opportunity to pursue this dream. It is nothing less than a blessing, and Deb and I are truly thankful to everyone whom has helped make it possible.
In 1995, I acquired a small recycling business that happened to have its headquarters in Dundee, Oregon. While my day-job in the paper and packaging industry continued in Minneapolis, my wife, Deb, and I would make occasional weekend trips to Oregon’s Willamette Valley to meet with my Dundee business partner. I soon fell in love with the beauty of Oregon wine country and began to dream “The Oregon Dream”. That, of course, is the notion of living there and owning a premium Pinot noir vineyard. Oregon then, and even today, is a place where viticultural dreams can still happen – even for those of us that didn’t design world-changing software, invent gunpowder, or receive a government bailout.
We began looking for Willamette Valley property in 1996 and a year later found an uncultivated 28-acre parcel on the south slope of Parrett Mountain, just a few miles east of Newberg, OR, part of the Chehalem Mountains AVA. For some reason, the property “felt right”. I don’t really know why – nothing was growing there other than poison oak, blackberries, and scrub oak. There wasn’t a hillside view of any sort because the 30′-tall over-grown brush obscured any sense of the valley below. But not to be deterred, I commented to Deb as we stood at the edge of the property, “I think this will make a great vineyard for Pinot noir!” Her response: “How would you know?”