Dad, Husband, Winemaker:
Bryan’s love of wine is rooted in his Oregon blood.
“I grew up in a family who appreciated great wine. I was taught that wine is something special yet something that is a staple of everyday life – a condiment with any meal… something to talk about over family dinners, something to share with good people and great friends, and something to collect and age with memories. It’s an inclusive part of everyday life.”
In 2006, Bryan’s love for wine on the dinner table grew into a love for winemaking with his family.
“We sourced amazing fruit from Trudy and Keith at Kramer Vineyards, and five of us set out to make our first Pinot Noir. It’s funny to look back now and realize all of the things we didn’t know then about making wine.”
What started with 5 gallons of Pinot Noir and a Portland basement has grown to over 500 cases of wine and a family wine farm in Newberg, OR.
“I love how much I learn every year and with every new harvest. I am a constant student and sponge for information. I read about wine, talk to other winemakers, drink other people’s wines and try to understand how that winemaker got there, watch YouTube videos that other winemakers put out, and soak up everything I can get. My understanding of winemaking changes daily, and I literally can’t get enough of it.”
Bryan's love of cooking also directs his approach to winemaking, always looking for the perfect balance in flavors and texture.
“With food, you’re looking for balance in flavors and texture. Salt, acidity, sweetness, spice, crunch, smoothness, etc… the combination of those elements make for great food that is interesting and pops in the mouth.
I approach winemaking in the same way.
From a general standpoint, I aim for balance. I aim for clean and elegant wines with as much complexity as I can draw out of the fruit. Acidity is very important to me as it helps the wines pair well with food and age gracefully, and my absolute favorite part of any wine is the depth of complex aromatics.”
Bryan aims to create a portfolio of delicious wines that have the complexity and balance to stand on their own, but also work together to create a cohesive journey, like a multi-course meal.
“If I am making a barrel aged Chardonnay that has gone through malolactic fermentation, then I balance that with a clean, stainless steel, acid driven rosé. If Chardonnay is the first course, then I want the rosé to be the palate cleanser – like a little ball of melon sorbet before stepping into the next course of Pinot Noir.”
Winemaking is Bryan’s love language, and he can’t wait to share his journey with you!
5 random facts about Bryan from Instagram:
1) Bryan wishes he was a rock star, but he has no musical talent and he definitely sucks at dancing. His ultimate goal is to one day own a large outdoor concert venue surrounded by a vineyard in the Willamette Valley so we can all listen to live music all summer long.
2) Bryan was once an on-stage contestant on The Price is Right in the Bob Barker and Rod Roddy days. He lost, and continues to lose on every rerun he has ever seen himself on.
3) Bryan LOVES to cook and geeks out on making every meal gourmet, special, and romantic. Cooking is definitely his love language, and he approaches winemaking in the same way that he cooks. Bryan is very focused on making wine that he hopes YOU will like to drink. It’s his art and his love language, and he cannot wait to share his wines with you over an excellent meal.
4) Bryan didn’t go to school for wine making (he went to school for business). He learned how to make wine with his family starting in 2006, and by watching a lot of YouTube videos. Seriously, you can learn a lot on YouTube these days.
5) Although Bryan is actually an introvert, he’s a Chatty Cathy when he drinks. His drunk alter ego is named, “Disco Dirk."
Mom, Wife, Head Honcho:
Laura’s love of wine is rooted in good times, great friends, and shared memories.
“I love wine because it’s a vessel that connects people through great conversation and good times! I love that wine allows us to host, entertain, and share experiences with so many great people from all over the world."
In 2008, Laura agreed to marry Bryan over several bottles of great wines that told the story of their relationship.
“On a miserable February day in Cannon Beach, Bryan proposed to me under a gazebo that friends had set-up on the beach in front of Haystack Rock.
After I said yes, we shared a romantic dinner with friends where Bryan brought out wines that marked all of the key moments in our relationship. Each bottle had a hand written memory… an Argentian Malbec that we shared on our first date, a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon that we drank the night of our first kiss, and an Oregon Pinot Noir from a vineyard we frequented on wine tasting dates.”
For Laura, wine has always been a way to connect with people and capture memories.
“Wine is so expressive and is such a great way to capture the story of what is happening with each vintage and each year.
I remember when I was in the hospital giving birth to Ava during harvest of 2013, and Bryan kept leaving the hospital to run home and attend to the fermenting grapes in our basement. Even though I wanted to kill him at the time, I appreciate it now because every time we open a bottle of our 2013’s we get to relive that memory. The wines literally tell the story of those frantic punchdowns and the birth of our daughter."
At Hazelfern, Laura wants guests to connect a memorable and unique experience to the wines.
“We think Hazelfern is a pretty magical place, and I’m focused on delivering a memorable experience for every friend that stops by to share a glass of wine with us. I want people to remember the stories that were shared and the people that became friends as a result of tasting wines at Hazelfern."
The tasting experience at Hazelfern is definitely unique. All of the tastings happen around a common reclaimed wood farm table.
“We want the experience to be approachable, friendly, and shared. I love getting to meet new people over a glass of great wine. I look forward to using the winery as a way to meet many people with amazing stories from all over the world.”
While entertaining and wine are Laura’s passion, she can’t wait to hear your story and create new friends here on the farm!
5 random facts about Laura from Instagram:
1. Laura is Canadian. She was born in Vancouver and grew up near Toronto. After a few glasses of wine, she starts talking like a Canadian. Moms become Mums, Processes become Pro…cesses,” and Houses become "hoe-ses.” She also develops a strong desire to play hockey.
2. Laura’s kryptonite is old TV series on Netflix and Hulu - she could literally binge watch them all day long if Adalyn and Ava didn’t remind her that we have things to do. Currently she is really into this show from 2005 called, Grey’s Anatomy. Maybe you’ve heard of it?
3. Laura has a great eye for interior design and consumer experience. She has been working her magic in the winery/barn, and can’t wait to invite you all over to hang out and drink some wine this summer. She’s hoping your experience at Hazelfern will be completely unique and magical.
4. Although she's a city girl, Laura has developed a mean tractor game! She's logged many hours prepping the vineyard this past year, and ever since Bryan drove the tractor forks through the winery walls this past harvest, Laura is now considered by many to be Hazelfern's best tractor driver. 🚜🙊
5. Laura has a tattoo. Its a red maple leaf that was freehanded at 2am in Vegas, and its on her left cheek. Yes, that cheek. 👇🏼 Did we mention that Laura really likes wine?