Tad Seestedt of Ransom Wines & Spirits was told that he was crazy when he talked of leaving New York City and heading to Oregon without knowing a soul, with a vague notion of returning to an agricultural lifestyle in the wine industry. But after three years of planning, he headed west in 1993, and now his plans are finally coming together.

We recently interviewed Tad for our documentary project and learned that slow and steady can really sometimes win the race.

Tad Seestedt of Ransom

Ransom now produces gin and whiskey from barley he grows on his certified organic farm on the edge of the Coast Range, and he also produces a line of Oregon wines from area vineyards, with his own vines in the ground on his 40-acre farm outside the small town of Willamina, Oregon.

Lucy the distillery dog

It’s been a long road paved with credit card and bank loans, but Ransom has arrived and Tad’s mother has stopped calling him to ask when he’s planning to start law school. With distillery dog Lucy by his side, Tad spoke to us about his path to independence in the wine and spirits business.

And my favorite quote from the conversation: “Making good wine involves science and focus and love…and maybe a little bit of superstition.”