Podcast – Interview with Stephanie Pao

Check out this great interview with Stephanie Pao who is the winemaker for Foris Winery in Southern Oregon. We discuss Oregon wines, but also chat about her time working for other wineries in California, Oregon, Washington, and even New Zealand.

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Full episode transcript:
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Thru the Grapewine Podcast. We are your hosts Ali and

Ute: Ute.

Ali: Today’s guest is Stephanie Pao, winemaker at Foris Winery, which is in Oregon, but not in the Willamette Valley. We are headed down to Southern Oregon for this interview. Stephanie has a pretty impressive resume with lots of experience working in the wine industry, including California, Oregon, and even New Zealand.

We can’t wait to learn more. So without further ado, welcome Stephanie.

Stephanie Pao: Thank you for having me.

Ali: Yeah, we’re so excited to have you on here. Let’s just jump right in. So could you just give us a quick rundown of who you are and how you got into the wine industry?

Stephanie Pao: So, I’m Stephanie Pao andI got into the wine industry as my second career.

So I originally was working in bioinformatics down in Pasadena, and I took a sabbatical to try a new career. And so I went to UC Davis to study viticulture enology. And then afterwards I worked a couple harvests and then started working at wineries full time.

Ali: Very nice!

Ute: That’s pretty awesome. And you know, we’re gonna get a little bit more into that, but, I have a question for you.

Basically, settling of a debate once for all. So I have been saying Paso Robles forever, and I know a lot of people who do. And then we went into our WSET three class last year and our teacher said, Paso Robles. And I was completely confused by that. I’m like, “Wait, what?” And she goes, “Yeah, yeah, that’s exactly how you say it.”

And I didn’t wanna believe it, but you, you know. Yes?

Stephanie Pao: You know, it’s really interesting because I feel like I left Paso Robles, so I used to say Robles all the time. And when I was there, I used to say Robles as well, so I, I actually don’t know what the AVA is calling itself anymore, now that you mention it. But I, you know, it might be worth, you know, calling the, their office to say, You know, ask them like, well, how are you actually, you know, pronouncing her name now.

[inaudible] instance. She used to say Paso Robles actually.

Ute: Okay, so there you go. So now we, we have some more homework to do.

Stephanie Pao: It’s all my fault, sorry.

Ute: It’s all right. I can handle it.

Ali: Well, speaking of California AVAs could you tell us a bit about each of the wineries that you’ve worked at here in the US and what you did at each of those wineries?

Stephanie Pao: Sure. So harvest wise, I worked at Mondavi and I worked at Saintsbury and I worked in Oregon at Lemelson and Bethel Heights. And then full-time positions, I worked at JUSTIN Winery and Paso Robles and or Robles and Double Canyon up in eastern Washington before I came down to here, which is Foris in Oregon.

And I’ve been here since 2017.

Ute: All right. So Lemelson, I, I love Lemelson. Did you love working there?

Stephanie Pao: I did. Oh, it was a really great experience. I was there for like nine months, so I, I pretty much saw everything from harvest, you know, to bottling. So that was, that was fun. And they had like the huge spaceship at the top.

So we call it the space cruise ship. And so there was always someone who was captaining that, that, you know, that contraption while we were sorting, you know, all day.

Ute: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I, I was able to do a, a private little tour and I just was so in awe of everything and, you know, as we’re like headed down the stairs and you know, seeing all of the barrels and, and it was, it was a beautiful, great place and, and everybody was so nice there.

Stephanie Pao: Yeah, it’s a great crew and a lot of people have been there for a very long time. The interesting thing was like always, I thought it was because it was a gravity fed facility, you know, so it’s three levels, like you really run up and down the stairs quite a bit.

So like, you think like, oh, well the wines just go, gonna go from one level to the next. But, but in fact, like it’s, I don’t know. You do end up like running up and down the stairs a lot and then the forklift goes around in a circle cuz then you have to go to the bottom level. All the way up to the top level.

Right. But yeah, it was, it was it was pretty interesting. I like the facility.

Ute: You end up with some strong legs after that.

Ali: Yeah, yeah!

Stephanie Pao: Exactly.

Ali: I did harvest at Penner-Ash last season. And they are also a gravity flow facility. And so, yeah, my Garmin, I was easily getting my stair goal every single day just running to track the line as you’re flowing the wine out of the tank in the drain.

I was just like, “Oh my gosh, I’m gonna trip up and down one of these stairs sometime.” But luckily I didn’t.

Stephanie Pao: Right.

Ali: So, yeah, I, I feel you there. With Lemelson, you said you were there for nine months as a harvest intern. Was that something you knew you were gonna have an extended harvest with them? Like you were gonna stay later than the, the typical three to four months or, or was that a surprise that you were staying on longer with them?

Stephanie Pao: It was, it was a little bit prearranged cause I was coming back from New Zealand. And looking for a job. And so they said, “Well, we, we hire about five interns. And then one of them stays on a little bit longer.” And so I was one that stayed on a little bit longer.

Ali: Nice. Oh, that’s good.

Stephanie Pao: It was a good job. Yeah.

Ali: Yeah. Really cool.

Ute: Well, this is a really great segue because you did do a harvest in Martinborough, New Zealand. So can you tell our listeners what’s the climate and what wines are grown there primarily?

Stephanie Pao: Yeah. And, I’ll have to say that actually I was there for the growing season, working in the vineyard as opposed to working in the winery. So actually as soon as they got to the winery portion, the production portion I was actually traveling around the island. So I, I went there, I think it was, it was just, it’s very cold and rainy, especially during, during the growing season.

So, but also Martinborough is kind of special in that it’s, the reason that town has a lot of pinot noir planted is because it’s on the Martinborough Terrace, which is like just very, very rocky, rocky ground. If you go towards the coast, you know, away from the town, you can, you know, actually see in the cliffs, you know how rocky those soils are. When we were actually working in the vineyard, we were trying to pound steaks into the ground to kind of lay down some reflective, kind of like white cloth to reflect more light into the fruit zone. And as soon as you tried to pound those steaks, they would bend, you know?

And so it was basically just like soil gluing together rock, was how I viewed it. And I think that’s probably why it’s a little bit more successful there, just because, you know, there’s such, such good drainage, you know, from all the rains. You know, you just have a little bit more control and also, you know, it’s really windy.

It’s especially windy, you know, in that, in that area. So, you know, I think the, the wind has like a couple of effects, but what a lot of people note is that you tend to develop, you know, thicker skins. Probably it’s likely the same way in the Columbia Gorge, and those thicker skins can often have a lot more, you know, tannin and aromatics, lots of components.

Ute: Yeah, for sure.

Ali: With those vineyards, were the vines, did you plant them… like what was the trellising system for that? Were they bush trained, or, or were they actually up on trellises with those strong winds coming through? Was there, was there anything to try and protect and mitigate winds on those vines?

Stephanie Pao: They did have like other types of fabric that they would stretch. I think a lot of this was they would plant a certain direction, you know, just to try and like mitigate a lot of that from the start. But you know, a lot of times you would hear the vitaculturist just talking about how like you would prefer to have like the shoot intact rather than have it broken by the wind and have nothing going on later. And so that was a concern I think, for them for sure. Yeah, it was interesting.

Ali: Yeah, that would be, that’d be really interesting. That’s one area I’m gonna be doing lab work in the cellar this harvest, but I don’t really have vineyard experience so that’s, maybe that’ll be my next one to get a little background on, just to learn all of that stuff cuz it sounds really cool.

Stephanie Pao: Yeah, I feel like they’re almost like two separate kind of like tracks in, in a lot of ways. You know, because every place that you work at the climate is so different that you almost have a different set of issues and things that you, you learn, you know, with every you know, location, like, and it isn’t like a small difference. It’s like drastically different.

So, so I, I feel like a lot of times, you know, vineyard people stay in one spot because it makes sense, you know, like you already have so many challenges year to year that just learning the variations on those just for your particular location is kind of interesting, but also more challenging.

Like on the winery side, actually, I feel like the equipment can be very much the same, but the fruit is very, very different. You know, but your techniques are pretty much a limited box of tools and so there’s more, it translates well, you, you can go to different areas to work, you know, for wine.

Ali: Yeah. How, how did this opportunity in New Zealand come up for you? Was that just you were looking for a southern hemisphere position to apply for you? Were you harvest hopping at the time, or, and then do you just apply for that and, and see how it goes or what, what was that process like?

Stephanie Pao: Yeah. So I was a little bit different from a lot of other people doing harvest jobs because I was already 30 or over 30.

And so at that point, you don’t qualify for the holiday visa, the one that where you can work for a year. And just, you know, go from job to job. Cause that’s available in both Australia and, New Zealand. But once you’re over 30, you have to actually have an employer who basically sponsors you for a visa and says, “Okay, you have a job.”

You know, before you can actually even head over there. So I wrote letters to a couple places and then they just came back and saidsure we’ll do that.” And so then they wrote a letter. I think things, paperwork-wise are very straightforward in New Zealand, like their taxes are one sheet, you know, getting a visa is one sheet.

It’s like, It’s really not all that difficult to get things done there. They’re, they’re very straightforward and they just wrote a letter and then I wrote a letter and attached information and then I got my visa and then I went over there. So it was it relatively painless in comparison. Wow.

Ali: Alright. That’s super interesting. I did not realize that there was an age limit when it came to those work visas. So, I mean, I wasn’t about to start harvest hopping anyway. Don’t worry, husband. We’re not moving anywhere. But yeah, that’s a very interesting insight. Thank you.

Ute: I, I did hear about the, this whole visa thing actually, and, and was thinking, you know, what a great opportunity that that could be for, you know, some of the younger people who are looking to do something, you know, fun and, and just do it for a year. Give it a try and see. See how that works for them. That’s fantastic.

Stephanie Pao: Yeah. The year I went, it was interesting, like the other two Americans in the field with me, they were basically, they were teachers or one of them was a teacher and, and he couldn’t find a job because we were in the middle of the financial crisis.

And so he was like, well, he decided, well, why don’t we, you know, bike across New Zealand and just work, you know, in different places. And so he brought his friend along and then that’s what they decided to do for a year. But yeah, you would meet a lot of Americans who were just trying something different since it was hard to find a job anyways.

Ute: Yeah, for sure. Wow.

Ali: What adventure.

Ute: Yeah, for sure. So to pivot just a little bit, we’re recording this episode for release in May. Can you tell us a little bit what, what you’re currently doing at the winery? So, you know, May, June, or, or April, may, and then what the summer is gonna look like for you?

Stephanie Pao: So right now we are finishing bottling a lot of our whites. The ones that are, you know, tank fermented. And in May we’re gonna probably start prepping our barrel fermented chardonnay for, for bottling as well. So we’ll check for stability and then see whether we can just go straight to bottle or whether we need to make some adjustments beforehand.

And then we’re gonna also take a look at some of our, our Bordeaux varietals. So we also make Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec, and Tempranillo. These are all small amounts, but they’ve been in barrel for 18 months now, and so they’re about ready to come out and be bottled as well.

Ute: Oh, that’s exciting.

Stephanie Pao: Yeah, so we’ll be pumping those out as well, you know, making our blends there. So right now I’m, I’m just like, actually today I was just shopping around for, you know, kind of like wines, like benchmark wines to taste and see whether, you know, sometimes I like to calibrate my taste buds before I start like making blends.

And so, this is one of the things that I, that we’re working on. And then what we’ll probably also do is I’ll be visiting people down here in, in southern Oregon, restaurants, retailers, and pouring wines and, you know, showing what we have from this vintage that might be interesting for them.

And that’s, and working on Oregon Pinot Camp as well. So there’s like some, I guess, you know, we have to prep for the seminars and, and things like that. So we’ll probably start doing a little bit of that this month as well, the next month as well. Yeah. And the vineyard, they’re super busy.

I mean, we’re, we haven’t had bud break yet, but they are really starting to, you know, get out there and check all the, the sprinklers and check all the, the wind machines to make sure that we’re ready in case of any cold weather. So lots of things going on, definitely in the vineyard.

Ute: So how has the weather been down there?

Has it been as rainy as here?

Stephanie Pao: Yeah, I mean, I think we get similar weather, except because we’re, we’re higher elevation. Like, if you get rain, we might get snow. So like last week we had two inches of snow, I think on one of the days. And yeah. And then we, we just, it, like, it rained and then it melted, you know, away.

So now we feel like it’s really spring, you know? But yeah, it’s, it’s been inter, it’s been an interesting winter for sure.

Ali: I take back all of my complaining about the rains the last few weeks because if it was snowing here, I’d be like, “I’m good guys. Thanks. I’m done.”

Ute: That’s it. I’m outta here.

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Stephanie Pao: Oh, I was just gonna say our, our national sales director keeps saying that her, her husband is a native Oregonian and he’s just like, “We should leave, like, I’m done with this weather.”

Ute: You know? And I, I always, when, when there is a winter as rainy as this one was. I do have to occasionally remind myself where we came from. Because while I was born and raised in Germany, my husband is from Phoenix, Arizona. And so the first six years of, of my life here in the States, I was in Phoenix and, you know, I hated Phoenix.

I, I just, the heat and, and the dry and not seeing any rain for a really long time. That really got to me and our final winter there, actually, we had 144 plus days without rain, and I was just so done and I was so ready to get out of there. And so I really, really loved coming to Portland and to have the rain and to have seasons and everything.

So occasionally I do have to remind myself of that. Because this year I was ready to just get outta here.

Stephanie Pao: Yeah. I think a lot of times it’s what you grow up with that really, you know, has like almost like a, a homing button, I feel like, to certain. Like I grew up in the seaside, kind of like coastal town. And so I was used to fog all the time, and I had an intern here for three years who just thought the fog was really creepy.

You know, like he was from Central Oregon, you know, from Bend. He had grown up there his whole life, and he was used to skiing all the time and, and you know, just desert weather in the summer and he was just like, “the fog is creepy”, which I thought was just really interesting.

Ute: That is so funny because I love the fog.

Ali: I was gonna say maybe he watched the 1980s Jamie Lee Curtis movie and was just traumatized, like I was as a child. Thank you mom, for showing that movie to me as a very young child. I remember hiding behind a pillow. I was so scared.

So maybe that person was just traumatized from movies by the fog.

Stephanie Pao: Right? Maybe I, you know, that’s funny. I have to like, you know, ask him at some point. Did you watch scary movies?

Ute: You know, it’s funny cause I literally, walking to school back in the day. I went to school in the same town where I lived, and so I was within walking distance and, you know, often times in the winter it was still dark in the morning and I was always happy when it was foggy.

Because I always reasoned with myself that in the fog, I cannot be seen by predators.

Ali: Talk about take a dark turn. Woo.

Ute: Dude, that that was literally me. Every morning I’m like, oh my gosh, it’s foggy. Yes.

Ali: Oh my gosh, my gosh.

Stephanie Pao: Well, we do have like animals out here, you know, like we have cougars and bears. Like the fog would protect you.

Ute: See? There you go.

Stephanie Pao: Yes.

Ali: Switching back into vineyards. You mentioned that your, your vineyards that you work with have wind machines. Did I hear that correctly?

Stephanie Pao: Yeah, that’s, that’s right. So we have like a couple of different sites at different elevations and the one that’s closest to the winery and right next to the owner’s house.

It’s got three wind machines and, and we turn them on if there’s the, you know, like a good inversion layer. But of course, you know, if there’s no inversion layer, you know, they don’t really help. So then you just have to turn on the sprinklers. So it kind of depends on situation.

Ali: Okay. That’s, I, I’m always interested in, in learning more about Oregon’s use of frost mitigation, just because, you know, with the last few… I guess last year, having the late frost here in the valley and then having frost mitigation conversations come up so often of like, oh, do we need to start switching into those? Is that something, frost mitigation techniques, is that something that’s been in vineyards in southern Oregon for a while now or are those recent developments?

Stephanie Pao: I think that’s a very good question actually. I feel like because Ted has been here for, you know, almost 50 years that you know, like he’s kind of seen the, the weather spectrum change quite a bit, you know, from like, you know, maybe a hundred inches of rainfall, you know, down to maybe what we’re having now is probably closer to, maybe not this year, but 40 inches in our warmer years.

And so like in the early 2000s, I think he had pretty severe frost where it wasn’t just, you know, it didn’t just destroy growing tissue, but it actually killed the plants down to the ground. And so then, you know, those plants, you know, basically you just have to pull them out and then train up a new chute, you know.

So if it was grafted, then it wouldn’t work, but if it were unrooted, then you could just train up a new chute and then a year or two later it’d be cropping fruit again. So I think for him, because he was dealing with such extreme, you know, weather conditions cuz we’re higher elevation, you know, back then he always was prepared with sprinklers.

And so, and he is always had a, like a reliable source of water because we have snow cap mountains for, you know, a long, longer part of the year. So because of that, you know, I think maybe he never really had to use the frost protection like he would use it every once in a while, like during the warmer years, for example, from 2012 through like 2018.

And then like starting maybe like a couple years ago, frost really kicked in. So for us… up in Willamette, I think 2021 was a, was a wonderful, very ripe year. For us, we had very severe frost actually in 2021. We had frost in 2022 as well. So I just think that, you know, we’re, we’re getting a little bit more frost and so luckily we have the, the sprinkler set up to take care of that on our lower side.

Ali: Nice, nice. And I may have missed it. What AVA are, are you located in down there?

Stephanie Pao: Yeah, so we’re the, we’re considered Rogue Valley AVA, but I would say that we are… actually Rogue Valley AVA down here has like three parallel valleys and we’re the very, very west one. So we’re the ones who actually are more frost prone.

The, the two valleys that are closer to the eastern side, they have this, a little bit of a caldera effect where the warmer air kind of pools a little bit, and so they actually can grow really different varietals from what we can grow. Like we’re, we’re pretty much, you know, allyou know, white varieties, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, and we can do Tempranillo as well.

Though some years it’s a little tough. But out in those other valleys, I mean, they can grow, you know, Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec. If we tried to grow those, it would be incredibly green, you know, so. And we’re only 20, 20 miles away, 25 miles away, so it’s not-

Ute: that’s incredible.

Stephanie Pao: Yeah. That’s kind of interesting, huh?

Ali: Nice.

Ute: Yeah, for sure.

Ali: Yeah. Speaking of regions, do you have a favorite place that you, a favorite region you enjoy traveling to or drinking the wines from?

Stephanie Pao: You know, I haven’t really traveled much anymore. You know, that sounds really funny, but after I got into the wine business, after New Zealand, I, once you take a full-time job, I think you, I just don’t travel as much anymore.

But, you know, I, I probably still drink a lot of, of course, a lot of like local wine. I think if I’m, you know, buying wine from other places, maybe more inexpensive French wine. It would be really nice to go, you know, to France for either a harvest or, you know, or for a tasting trip. But I, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

I’m kinda full-time. Unfortunately.

Ute: Yeah, I feel that. So being a woman in the wine industry, I’m very curious. Do you or did you see any hurdles that you faced and what are they, how did you overcome them?

Stephanie Pao: I’d say that in general, I mean there’s lots of…. I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity for women in the industry.

But you, but you may find thatyou know, some, some jobs, like if they’re just a smaller crew or depending on a location, like it is a physically demanding job. And so some, some area, you know, I, I would say some wineries, you know, may not give you an opportunity. They, they might give you an opportunity in the lab, but not necessarily in the cellar.

I’d say Oregon is probably the opposite of that, you know, in every way. It’s probably the state where we have, you know, a lot more women in the cell than in, in a lot of other states. Yeah. But there’re always exceptions. I feel like, you know, you can go almost any, you know, state and right now it’s just an unbelievably great like, kind of job market.

Like, there are so many opportunities out there and people hiring that you never even saw before. Like, there are cult wineries out there looking for people, which is incredible. You know, like I remember when I was, you know, finishing school like, There’s literally like maybe two enologist job postings and that was it.

And so you’d go out there with like your resume, you know, to like 50 wineries and just drop ’em off and introduce yourself, you know, and there would be nothing. And so, so it was like a lot of people did a lot of harvest hopping, I think around those years.

Ute: Yeah, for sure.

Ali: Do you have a woman or women in the industry that you really look up to, that inspire you, or maybe even someday you’d love to work with?

Stephanie Pao: There are always, you know, people I feel I was like, oh, if I weren’t working a full-time job, I would love to work for them for harvest, you know? And I think a lot of those women winemakers are, well, some, some of them are in Oregon, but actually some of them are in, in California as well. I think there’s, there’s just a lot of really, really great winemakers out there.

But I feel like, you know, there’s a lot of also people that I’ve just interacted with over the years that have been, you know, just running a winery for a very long time. Like a small family winery. One of my classmates, her mother and her father, you know, basically just did their, their winery for so many years and just really kind of did everything themselves.

Like they were taking out the pressure washer and, you know, like, you know, just cleaning down everything. And, you know, doing like hosting dinners and, and just taking it from, from scratch. And I think those are always, you know, people I look up to as well, you know, and just for their work ethic, but their passion for the, for just doing things well and, and making wine, you know, it’s a …

They’ve really, you know, laid down their life. They’ve invested money and, and really, you know, committed to it.

Ute: Yeah. Oh, for sure. Yeah. Well, so, and we are already kinda approaching the end here of our interview, but do you have any advice that you would give to our female listeners that are looking to potentially step into the wine industry in any type of capacity?

Stephanie Pao: Ooh. I would sayprobably like there’s a wealth of, of information out there now, now that we have Zoom, anything is possible. You get so much information. You know, thispeople are very willing to share and very generous with their information. I don’t feel like you should ever hesitate to just ask questions, you know?

Yeah, and I feel like there’s a ton of opportunity right now, like just to learn, you know, all the basic skills. In fact, your, I bet your, your career would move far faster right now, starting out now than it would have just like, you know, 10, 15 years ago. So, yeah. You know. I mean, the opportunities are, are really endless for really, you know, for bright, eager people.

Yeah. It’s, it’s not a, I would say that probably a piece of advice would be that early on, find out if you like working outdoors or whether you prefer working indoors. You know, those will probably help you figure out your track and, and maybe also, you know, consider if the climate with the climate change, you know, what kind of role you would be interested in doing.

Just because the challenges are, you know, can be, can be big. And so if you’re moving from AVA to a different AVA, you know what the particular challenges are, you know, ask the local boots on the ground. I think that’s helpful.

Ute: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. You know, and I think that’s very true is, you know, to ask questions and to try to figure out what it is that you want to do, because you know, both Ali and I stepped into the industry, having done completely different things before. I’ve done, you know, nutrition and kickboxing and things like that. And oh, Ali is a librarian and

Stephanie Pao: That’s great.

Ute: You know, here I am and I’m a much more of a tasting room person. I, I like to be customer facing. I like to sell the wine, and Ali is all hands on, you know.

Getting down and dirty!

Ali: Getting dirty, cleaning everything.

Stephanie Pao: Yes.

Ali: Well, we do have one final surprise question for you. We ask this at the end of all of our interviews, so it may not be a full surprise, but Ute and I have a friendly competition going on, and we would like to know, are you Team Red Wine or Team Bubbles?

Stephanie Pao: Oh, I love bubbles. I so love bubbles, but unfortunately I don’t make any, so I’m Team Red Wine.

Ali: Okay.

Ute: Okay. You know what I, I get to win now and then.

Ali: I’ll give you that one.

Ute: It’s, it’s become such a funny thing because most people do choose bubbles. We have a private Facebook group too, for women, and we did a little poll there and the overwhelming amount of ladies is into Team Bubbles, so anytime that I can get a Team Red, I’m like, yeah!

Stephanie Pao: I’ll chalk went up right there.

Ute: I think there’s like three of us now.

Stephanie Pao: Very few. I can tell.

Ute: Oh, you gotta take the wins when you get them.

Stephanie Pao: Sounds like I should make more bubbly wine.

Ali: Ooh,

Ute: It’s okay. We, we like red.

Ali: I’ll come help. I’ll come help you make some, some bubbles. How about that?

Stephanie Pao: I’m for that. We always need help.

Ali: I’ll be a cellar hand for a bit.

Ute: All right. So you’re gonna have to go to Southern Oregon now, Ali.

Ali: There we go. I need to get down and, and get acquainted with the wineries down there anyway. I definitely don’t know them as well as I know Willamette Valley, so. I need to come down.

Ute: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I mean, I mean, Foris was literally the only winery that my husband and I visited down there years ago when we did a tour down to Napa and Sonoma. And on the way back we stayed at the Treesort. Ah. And from there we just kind of drove around and we did some hikes and we ended up going to Foris and enjoyed some of their wine, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Stephanie Pao: Aw, thank you. Appreciate that. Well come check out the Treesort.

Ute: Yes, exactly. Yes. Oh my gosh. It is so much fun. Staying in a treehouse is a, a whole new experience and you know, all of the treehouses are connected to each other with like these sky bridges. So. Pretty neat. Not, not great when it’s, when there’s a thunderstorm and we were told by the owners that a lot of people will go into the main building because the trees are swaying so much in storms that they’re just feeling so uncomfortable that they ended up going into the main building, all sleeping there with their air mattresses and, and sleeping bags all in the same room.

Ali: Oh my gosh.

Stephanie Pao: I don’t blame them. You just feel like, no,

Ute: But it is nice when it’s not, not a thunderstorm, so

Stephanie Pao: Right.

Ute: Well, this was a really, really great interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, Stephanie. We really appreciate it. Can you let our listeners know where to find you and of course, Foris online real quick.

Stephanie Pao: Yeah. We are in Illinois Valley in Cave Junction.

So if you are on the 199 heading towards the Redwoods, it’s the Redwood Highway. Then you leave Grants Pass for about 40 minutes, and we’re about, just about halfway near the Oregon Caves. And the Treesort.

Ute: Yes. So go there and we will have all of the information down in the show notes as well so that you can find the winery and kind of click yourself through the wines that they have there for you.

And so thank you again, Stephanie. It was a pleasure chatting with you. I hope to meet you in person sometime.

Ali: Yes.

Stephanie Pao: Yes, I agree. That would be wonderful.

Ute: And with all that, all that Ali and I have left to say is of course, Prost!

Ali: Cin-cin!

Ute: I love it.

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