John Grochau is a lifelong cyclist who first encountered wine riding bikes for a French team all over France in his early 20s, and upon returning to Portland, worked in the legendary and influential Higgins restaurant as a server for over 14 years. After apprenticing with Doug Tunnell at Brick House, he started Grochau Cellars with next to nothing in 2002, a true “Bootstrap” operation. He makes the wine for Doug and Michele Ackerman, who planted the Armstrong vineyard in 2006, just up the road from Bergström. They describe the concept for Red Electric wines thus: “From 1913 to 1929, the iconic Red Electric commuter trains began a transportation revolution, carrying passengers from Portland to the communities of the Willamette Valley that are now intimately associated with Oregon Pinot Noir—Sherwood, Newberg, McMinnville, Forest Grove, Carlton, Salem, Eugene and others. With a nod to the distinctive railcars, we hope our wines capture the electricity and excitement of that era.”
“TGV” is the word for France’s bullet train, a play on the railroad theme. This wine is so dark, spicy, and laden with candied cranberry and cherry, we had to grab it for you. In other words, a totally classic Ribbon Ridge wine from a warm, generous vintage.