Wonderful article about winemakers and their labels!
Rebecca Pittock-Shouldis | Ghost Hill Cellars, á La Main Wines
As is the case with many winemakers I’ve interviewed, Rebecca Pittock-Shouldis describes her entrance into the world of wine making as “serendipitous.” She also phrased it as “a crazy series of events.” Her career life began as an Oregon National Guard Aviation Technician. How she came to make wines of grace and beauty is a whole different story. Pittock-Shouldis is able to utilize many of the skills that made her a great aviation technician in her wine making—such as reverse engineering and the ability to learn from experience. But it’s in wine making that she seems to have honed her artistic skills. “Wine is a catalyst. It creates a spark that creates the memories and experiences of our lives. Wine seems to tie it all together,” she says. In wine she found her passion. Making wines that become an integral part of people’s lives is what she most enjoys about what she does.
Pittock-Shouldis still serves in the Guard once a month. She’s also a mother of two and is busy creating her own brand, á La Main Wines (translation: To be done by hand), a selection of Rhône-style wines that will launch later this spring. Pittock-Shouldis has also been on a quest to revive the old Gypsy Dancer wines, a brand that disappeared after the untimely death of the Gypsy Dancer winemaker Gary Andrus. This revival is more of a stretch for Pittock-Shouldis—not only her own personality into the wines, but to create a different style of wine, like Andrus would have made.
Though Pittock-Shouldis loves Pinot noir (and in my humble opinion, her Ghost Hill Cellars Pinots are some of the best in the Willamette Valley), what truly inspires her are Rhône-style wines, including syrah and viognier—wines she’s now making with fruit from Dukes Family Vineyard. The new á La Main label showcases a piece of art by Robert Canaga featuring her two childrens’ hands with grape juice flowing between them. One look at her label and it’s easy to appreciate not only the strength, but the passion, dedication, love and allure.
Here is the entire piece.