Dick Erath, oneof the Founders of the Oregon Wine Industry, passed away last week. If you follow wineries on social media, you’ve probably been treated to more than a few anecdotes about Dick. Dick lived across the road from us for many years. While his physical size and his stature in the industry could be quite intimidating to newbies (myself included), Dick was, in fact, a very sweet and kind person. He had a garage winery at the top of the hill above us and was always experimenting. He became very excited about two selections of Pinot noir that he had planted and one day came to the Winderlea tasting room with bottles of wine made from each for me to try. Now let’s face it, there is noreason Dick Erath should care about my opinion on anything wine related but he really wanted to know what I thought. With that one gesture he made me feel included and respected. I don’t think that was his intention. He was sharing his curiosity and excitement with a colleague and neighbor. But to me, it was a great example of who he was and why he was so important to the wine world. We’ll miss you Dick, but we’ll never forget. Cheers.