On Friday, March 8, 2013, Robert Wood’s daughter notified friends of Bob that he had suddenly passed. This news came as a shock to everyone in the Oregon wine industry. It seemed like just days ago Bob had visited all of us in our tasting rooms, vineyards, wineries and wine shops to taste, help pour, entertain customers and show his support. Bob Wood was best known for sharing his passion for wine, especially Oregon Pinot, mostly through the popular wine forum, Wine Berserkers, and his blog, The Duck Juice Chronicles. Many use the word curmudgeon to describe our dear friend and while completely accurate, we must also include that buried not too deep beneath his scowl, brutal honesty and surly demeanor beat a heart of gold. Grower of Armstrong Vineyard and good friend, Doug Ackerman, captured the essence of Bob Wood in three sentences: “He was fiercely loyal if he was your friend, and royal pain if not. I will miss his fanatical devotion to Oregon wine, his unbelievable support of our vineyard, his witty repartee, and his deep affection for my family. You will be missed.”
You will be missed.
In honor of Bob, owner/winemaker of Seven of Hearts / Luminous Hills, Byron Dooley and his wife, Dana, are providing a select barrel of 2012 Oregon Pinot Noir that Bob would have liked. This special barrel will be from Armstrong Vineyard in the Ribbon Ridge AVA and chosen by both Byron and Doug Ackerman, as it was Bob Wood who introduced the two men many years ago. Byron will offer the wine and his services with most of the proceeds going to the Wood family. Each bottle will cost $35 (no special pricing to maximize the benefit to the family), $20 of which will go to the family, allowing for roughly $5,000 in contributions.
*UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming response (a heartfelt thanks goes to everyone who purchased part of the first barrel) and the opportunity to increase the benefit to Bob’s family, we are adding a second barrel to this offering. It will be either from Luminous Hills Vineyard or Armstrong Vineyard and will be chosen to make the best possible blend (and one that we hope Bob would approve of). Winemaker Byron Dooley hopes to make an even better and more interesting wine, drawing upon the different characteristics of different clones, cooperage and whole cluster fermented lots. In other words, the final wine will be greater than the sum of its parts. Everyone who buys wine from this offering will receive the same blended wine.
The wine is currently in barrel and is scheduled for bottling in September or October of this year. Depending on the number of attendees (and the weather), a pickup party will be hosted at either the Seven of Hearts tasting room or the Armstrong Vineyard sometime in March 2014 to celebrate the release of the wine and remember the man who inspired it. Updates on the composition of the selected barrel, clone and cooperage, and the party to celebrate Bob will be posted on this page and the Wine Berserkers forum.