Marc Girardet

Second generation Winemaker, Marc Girardet, was taught the family tradition of winemaking by working alongside his father, Philippe. Young Marc grew up playing in the vines, drinking grape juice from the press, and helping his parents in the wine business. He became the winemaker in 1999 – at age 24 he was the youngest in the state – and since then has been carrying on the family passion for handcrafting extraordinary wines.

In 2010 Marc converted the estate to sustainable farming and decided to begin feeding the vines exclusively with a locally-sourced horse manure compost. This is based on his back-to-the-basics philosophy, and he employs a mostly hands-off approach in the cellar, believing that great wines are a function of letting the grape express it’s flavors freely.

Marc has also cultivated a love of Italian varietals over the years, and developed Shale Rock Summit with plantings of Sangiovese, Barbera, and Teroldego. His faithful dog and Assistant Winemaker, Francois, is always watching from nearby. Marc’s daughter, Amelia, can often be found helping in the vines as well.

When Marc isn’t in the vineyard or barrel room, he is usually pursuing his hobbies of aviation and motorcycles, or out hiking the rugged Pacific Northwest. He has been a private pilot since 2010 and survived a near-death experience during an emergency engine-out landing in his Cessna Cardinal on Interstate 5 near Roseburg in 2013. This led to the creation of his iconic Touchdown Red wine and he remains “The only winemaker who landed an airplane on the Interstate.”

sketch of wine barrels