Brad McLeroy, co-owner and winemaker of Ayres Vineyard, owned a wine store in Kansas City, Missouri as well as working as a wine distributor before buying, along with his wife and in-laws, the Ribbon Ridge property that became Ayres Vineyards in 2000. While building their vineyards and winery Brad also worked in the cellar at Domaine Drouhin, ones of the best wineries in the Willamette Valley, working his way quickly up to Chef du Cave. The first commercial vintage of Ayres was 2003. The grapes for this wine come from the organically farmed Palimpsest Vineyard of the neighboring valley in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Gamay Noir is the grape used in Beaujolais and these grapes are vinified like a cru Beaujolais with a mix of crushed grapes as well as whole clusters with fermentation conducted by native yeast. The wine is aged for 12 months in neutral barrels which don’t interfere with the fresh floral, raspberry, blackberry and black pepper aromas. Treat as you would a lovely Beaujolais, give it a slight chill and serve with roast fowl or even white fish.