John Winthrop Haeger's book 2004 North American Pinot Noir was an inspiration and influence to us in our early days of dreaming about making Pinot Noir. So it was an honor and pleasure to host a visit from Haeger at our winery a couple of weeks ago. He dug deep into our story and asked great questions as he tasted through different vintages of our Pinot Noir. He followed up the visit with a blog post about the travails, success and promise of our winery, along with tasting notes on the different wines.

Below is an excerpt that captures just a sliver of our story: 

"Waits-Mast is an interesting case study among tiny boutique brands. Like most of the genre, it is minimally capitalized, propelled primarily by passion and hard work, dependent on a host of third parties, and managed in fragile symbioses with important personal realities like family and day-jobs. But it also seems unlike most in several key ways. First it has survived, and garnered recognition. Good luck deserves part of the credit for this, but so does the principals’ seriousness. They have been patient with a gently sloped learning curve. (“Wine is a business you don’t get very good at very fast,” the late Jack Davies of Schramsberg told me years ago.) Second, it has been impressively faithful to Wait’s and Mast’s personal tastes. From the beginning they have known quite clearly what kind and shape of pinots they liked; in conversations with prospective winemakers before their first wines were made, they were able to illustrate their stylistic preferences with examples. Mary Elke’s pinots from Donnelly Creek Vineyard were an early inspiration as were some bottlings of Londer. It may also have helped that Waits and Mast came to pinot without either inspiration or baggage from Burgundy, saving themselves and their winemakers from tilting at windmills. Finally, Waits and Mast still seem to like their day jobs. Even as they can imagine turning to wine as their principal business some day, they are content to learn, and grow, patiently."

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