|A wonderful evening at Restaurant Paul Bocuse|
with Kate, Andrew (Kate's Dad and DWC co-owner)
and Tom in Lyon, France
The “itch” first surfaced for Tom when he registered in college for a class called “Beverage Management,” which was essentially an entry level sommelier course. For Kate, it was during numerous trips to her family home in the high Loire Valley in central France where she and her family would drink magical wines made from the many nearby hillside vineyards.
The itch grew to something between hobby and addiction when Kate and Tom met in San Francisco and spent countless days drinking and eating their way through the Bay Area and the Sonoma and Napa wine country. It was shortly after this during Tom’s grad school days that they began plotting a change in life from high finance and office cubicles to muckboots and winery cellars.
Kate’s family home in France proved to be a perfect place for their immersion into viticulture and enology.
Starting with no grape farming or production experience, they crafted Pinot Noir, Gamay and Chardonnay for regional greats, Domaine Sauvat, during the 2009 season and harvest. With a lot of help from Kate’s fluency in French, they both completed an intensive 8-month private viticulture and enology program with both classroom and field study in the vineyards and wineries of Burgundy, Beaujolais and the Northern Rhone.
They continued their adventure in the beginning of 2010 as they drove across America with their dog Cass and a car load of belongings – bound for Oregon and set on putting down roots. Kate quickly landed a job with Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, where she became the Tasting Room & Events Manager and is now a principle Event Coordinator with Art of Catering in Portland. Tom eventually landed with Methven Family Vineyards assisting winemaker, Chris Lubberstedt with the Methven estate wines and various other custom wine projects. Most importantly, this position gave Kate and Tom an opportunity to make their first wines.
Division Street in Southeast Portland happens to also be where Kate and Tom purchased their first home together – it is where a life culture centered on family, friends, food and drink has firmly taken root. Division represents the two sides of wine growing; vineyard farming and wine making. Finally, Division is the two people who strive to bring their creativity, ideals and love of wine.