Our story is an adventure tale that continues to unfold and we invite you to join us! We (founders/proprietors Martha & Scott Wright) were working in other careers when Pinot Noir’s siren’s song began to call to us louder and louder. Scott was founding executive of an independent promotion company in the music industry, after a long and successful career as a top-40 on-air talent (Shadow Stevens, anyone? — he still holds listenership records from his days on Z100 in New York and his nationally syndicated count-down show). Martha was busy keeping up with her celebrity chef clients, hammering out the details of their endorsement deals, testing recipes and writing for their Food Network shows, booking them on the day’s biggest news and talk shows, and accompanying them around the US for major food festivals. But ultimately, we wanted to put our own creative juices to work to create something of our own, and we were just crazy enough to believe that the mysterious, elusive, seductive Pinot Noir grape should be the vehicle.
We sold our house in LA, loaded up the cars and drove to Yountville and launched Scott Paul Wines in 1999 with a burning passion, much to learn, contracts for highly coveted fruit, small investments from a few folks who believed in us, and most importantly, the tutelage of Greg LaFollette, a dear friend and mentor. That fall we crushed 7 tons of fruit, and the following year bottled 350 cases of the first Scott Paul wines. Scott said that there were 3 restaurants in the entire US that he wanted to carry our wines…French Laundry in Yountville, CA, Rubicon in San Francisco, CA, and Vertitas in New York, NY. And darn if he didn’t get our ’99s on the list at all three restaurants!
It wasn’t long though before Oregon’s cooler climate and great success with Pinot Noir lured us to the Willamette Valley. We began our Oregon winemaking starting with the 2000 vintage, and Scott took a position as Managing Director of Domaine Drouhin Oregon in 2001. We moved our production to the Carlton Winemakers Studio for the 2003-2005 vintages.
In 2003, Cameron Healy, founder of Kettle Chips, dear friend & mentor, became a partner in Scott Paul Wines. We were ready to have control over our winemaking environment and to grow our small brand, so we devised plans to build a new winery facility and tasting room. Excited by the opportunity to participate in Carlton’s rejuvenation, we bought two historic buildings and began their renovation in 2005. Our winery is housed in a repurposed granary, the former Madsen Grain Company, built in 1900, while our brick tasting room was originally a creamery, built in 1915. Renovation was completed just in time to open our doors in June 2006, and to start making wine in our new facility that fall. That same year we launched our import company, first bringing in exceptional wines from small family domaines in Burgundy, and then just two years later, adding stellar grower Champagnes to the mix.
We are absolutely passionate about the Oregon Pinots we make AND about the Burgundies and Champagnes that we import, and it is our mission and joy to share that passion with others. Our entire program — our tasting rooms, our events, our classes, our clubs and even our annual small group tours in Burgundy and Champagne — are designed to allow you, our guest, to learn so that you can enjoy these wine adventures as much as we have.