Patricia “Patty” Green, a Willamette Valley vintner and beloved member of the Oregon winemaking community, has died at the age of 62. The co-owner of Patricia Green Cellars is suspected to have fallen while alone in her cabin near Rosenberg, where she was found. Beloved for both her humble yet adventurous nature and her nuanced approach to her craft, Green leaves behind a legacy of integrity, passion, and love.
Green was born in Chicago and moved to Oregon with her family in 1972. There, she developed an early interest in fermenting the fruit that grew abundantly around her home: “I started making wine when I was in high school, though my family didn’t know it,” she once stated. She would go on to find success in the forestry industry, and even work in commercial fishing, before deciding to make her former hobby a career. She began picking grapes at Hillcrest Winery in 1986, and became the winemaker for Torii Mor in 1993, producing their inaugural vintage. There, she met her future business partner and lifelong friend, Jim Anderson. "Her approach to winemaking was pure. She had done so many interesting and crazy things in her life. She had no motivations to be famous or acknowledged or even particularly that well paid,” he says.
In 2000, Green and Anderson purchased the 52-acre estate that is now Patricia Green Cellars. The partners were inspired to create Pinot Noirs that showcase Oregon’s diverse terroirs, and developed a reputation for high quality, sustainably-produced wine. Green attributed her winery’s success to attention to detail, a commitment to doing things the honest way, and fostering a dedicated team of employees. “It shows in the wine, it shows in the energy of the wine,” she said.
Though Green will be remembered by many for first and foremost as a winemaker, her curiosity and humility extended to every aspect of her life. “Patty was a mighty force and an old soul crammed into a small little body. She had done so many interesting and crazy things in her life way before she started making wine that it was hilarious how far down the list the life of a winemaker was in her amazing life,” says Anderson.
Patricia Green’s passion for life and knowledge, her expertise as a winemaker, and her respect for the earth is reflected, and will continue to be reflected, in every harvest, barrel, and bottle produced by Patricia Green Cellars. Her legacy will live on in the vineyards she so lovingly tended, and through those she educated and mentored throughout her career.
The Patricia Green Cellars team are currently planning a memorial service for those who wish to celebrate such a cherished and powerful soul.
"We all looked forward to visiting Patricia Green Cellars several times a year here in Oregon, just to hang out with Patty. She often cleansed her pallet for the next wine tasting with an IPA, and she could spit like a sailer. I'll always remember Patty by her fabulous T-shirts the Winery produced. My favorite... "Women Taste Better." I have worn that all over the world where people would come up to me and say, "What does that Mean." I'd always say Patty was my favorite winemaker of all times and had a great pallet." - Danton S Mendell