Ryan lives and breathes by the old adage, “the devil is in the details.” Microscopic details, to be specific. Ryan’s obsession with microflora is a central tenet of his work, both in the vineyard and on the crush pad. When tasting wines that hale from our vineyards, he finds himself contemplating how he can further adjust farming practices to coax out his favorite characteristics in the fruit.
Ryan’s approach is a healthy mix of biodynamic practice and pragmatism — one that requires a keen eye for detail and amplified senses. Thoughtful canopy management, carefully-selected cover crops, and organic treatments lay the groundwork for a healthy, resilient vineyard. They also create a vibrant, flourishing microcosm of native yeasts that accompany each mature cluster to press. Akin to gold for the forward-thinking winemaker, these yeasts work their magic in a particular way, adding layer upon layer of complexity and flavor to native ferments.
A native of Adelaide, Australia, Ryan made a beeline for Oregon after tasting a bottle of Cristom Pinot Noir with fellow viticulture and oenology students. After 11 years in the Willamette Valley, he’s made quite an impression. Seven Springs, Witness Tree, Evening Land — Ryan’s had a guiding hand in many famed Oregon vineyards. From that first bottle of Cristom, discovered 8,000 miles away, to his place among the Willamette Valley’s most esteemed wine professionals, Ryan truly knows what it means to live the Oregon Experience. “The food, the place, the people, and the wines here — they all work together to create this amazing, collective experience.”