We’ve been following the story of Jim Day for a few years now. He started out making his wine in borrowed corners of Corvallis-area wineries. He had his garage bonded as a storage facility last year, and now it’s a full-fledged production facility.
If you drive past this unassuming garage in a suburban neighborhood, you might not guess that it’s the home base for Day’s Panache Cellars label. The only clue is the sign warning that kids can only enter accompanied by an adult.
Inside, you’ll find a simple table, some cheese, a few friends and curious winery hoppers, and a flight of Jim’s Willamette Valley Pinot and Washington Sangiovese.
In a global industry rife with power players, you might think it’s somewhat hubristic to think you can compete by making wine in your garage and selling it in your driveway. But when we interviewed Dick Erath, we learned that that’s exactly how he began. Erath told us how he sold his first wines by unfolding a card table at the end of his driveway and selling wine to friends invited down from Portland and any other curious passers by.
And also like Erath, Day offers a line of excellent Pinot Noirs, Oregon’s signature varietal.
Will Jim Day follow on the heels of the Oregon wine pioneers and move production beyond his suburban driveway? Right now he plans to stay small. But you never know.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in talking with seventy-something wine industry people: anything’s possible.