The specialty coffee industry was sad to see Jane Rockhold leave her long-held position at Espresso Supply last year when she ventured out into the world to explore her other passion, wine making. The people the most sad about it were the good folks at Espresso Supply, but owner Laura Sommers and the staff just wanted to see Jane land where she would be the most happy. And that’s working with wine!
Jane went to work at Chatter Creek Winery in Woodinville, Washington, getting her hands dirty in the biz, and began the application process for graduate school in her chosen field.
No surprise, she was accepted into Cal Poly’s prestigious MBA program in Agribusiness. After she gets moving in the program, which she begins this fall, Jane will explore adding another Masters on in viticulture.
So to celebrate Jane’s exciting future, some of her friends spent the day exploring the beautiful vineyards of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Leah, of Barista Magazine, Lizanne, of Espresso Supply, and I met up for breakfast Saturday morning, then motored out to Newberg, Oregon — about 45 minutes south of Portland — to enjoy the incredible vistas and some kick-ass wines.
First up was Penner Ash, an outrageously fancy winery in northern Willamette Valley that focuses on Pinot Noirs.
Then we headed to Willakenzie Estate, which served what would be our favorite wines of the day (I think, that is… I was designated driver, so I discerned the wines from the teensiest of sips off of Jane’s glasses). We all ended up buying a few bottles here. And the view was nothing to sneeze at!
Finally, we headed up to the Yamhill-Carlton District for the much talked-about LeNez Pinot Noir. This was especially cool because the grapes were growing right where we parked the car. It was tiny compared to Penner Ash, but we kinda preferred that.
Wine tasting accomplished, we headed back to Portland. It took Jane about 10 minutes to fall asleep in the back seat. Jane really wanted to do it up for her celebratory weekend, so she’d booked at room at the Benson Hotel. After checking in, we headed to the lobby for a drink, and that’s when Jane saw this crystal phone — no lie — and decided to strike a pose.
After espresso martinis, which were damn delicious, we cabbed over to 23 Hoyt for what would be an incredible dinner. It was a great time overall. Jane, you will be missed! But we’re all so excited for the adventures you have ahead. Cheers!!