“Winemaking is not glamorous. Frankly, it is hard as hell.”

MY PERSPECTIVE

Regardless of how much I knew about wine as a consumer, I’m still amazed by the level of passion of leading winemakers. Winemaking is not glamorous. Frankly, it is hard as hell. It is as physical as an industrial factory, with hoses, pumps, and giant machines that can take a finger in a second. The hours are insane, with harvest bringing twenty hour days for weeks on end. There is a mental stress that is palpable–you get one shot per year at something with endless single points of failure. It is not for the weak minded.

“He does everything the right way — the hard way. He punches down his wines by hand, he uses a lot of whole cluster, he uses puncheons, he ferments his wines naturally. The list goes on and on.”

MARCUS GOODFELLOW

Marcus Goodfellow is a serious wine geek’s winemaker. He does not make wines that cater to the masses. He makes wines with structure and acid, wines that need time before you drink them, wines that invite you to contemplate them as you consume them. Marcus is uncompromising in every aspect of his craft. He does everything the right way–the hard way. He punches down his wines by hand, he uses a lot of whole cluster, he uses puncheons, he ferments his wines naturally. The list goes on and on. Marcus’s crew works in exactly the same way. Megan, his assistant and talented winemaker in her own right, is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. The crew is self selected, because you would never have to fire someone that cannot work as hard as required–they just leave. You have to experience this to understand it. I could tell you that Marcus has worked for Steve Doerner at Cristom, and other very famous names in the world of Oregon wine. I could tell you that he has nearly twenty vintages under his belt. Those things are important, but they don’t show you what happens in the winery every vintage. It is talent combined with passion and work ethic that creates the difference between decent wine and world class wine. Marcus makes world class wine.

FIVE YEARS

I knew I wanted to make wine with Marcus within ten minutes of meeting him. I repeatedly asked him if he was interested in doing this project for about five years before he finally agreed. Every time I asked, he told me how hard this business is, and that I was crazy. He had my best interest at heart, and he meant what he was saying. But I couldn’t shake it, even though I tried. I think in the end Marcus recognized my passion or perhaps my persistence. Marcus Goodfellow is a friend, a mentor, and the winemaker for Domaine Glennon.