Started with a small life savings and a fistful of credit cards, the
Ransom Project was launched in 1997, with the distillery making small
amounts of grappa, eau d'vie and brandy. Gin and whiskey were added to
the lineup in 2007.
Still wine production began during the
1999 vintage, with Ransom operating as a semi-nomadic entity. For the
first five years Ransom Wine Co. followed the path of it's founder, Tad
Seestedt, through several contract winemaking jobs, and custom crushing
locations until 2004 when permanent housing was finally located (and
the day job quit) in the heart of mcminnville's granary district.
In 2008, the purchase of a forty acre farm outside of Sheridan, Oregon
has brought both the distillery, and winery together for the first
time. Vines go in the ground in spring 2010, and barley has been
planted since 2008. The farm is located in the Willamette Valley in the
foothills of the Coastal Mountain Range.
The name "Ransom" was initially chosen to represent the
investment necessary to become self employed. It has since come to
represent the amount of debt owed to banks and other loaning
The intent of Ransom Wine Co. is to create artisan crafted wines
that exemplify true varietal character and express the individuality of
the growers, vineyard sites, and vintages. Our belief is that wine is
best made by hand with minimal intervention and minimal use of
mechanization, chemicals, computers, and high tech laboratory analyses.
Winemaking decisions are mainly based on taste, the other four senses,
a small degree of common sense, instinct, and of course what the grapes
themselves want to do. Call it path of least resistance, laziness, low
budget or anything that seems to fit. We prefer to call it "keeping it
real". Very hands on, low tech, low hype.
Committed to helping reduce planetary toxicity, the majority of fruit
sourced for Ransom Wine Co. is farmed organically or biodynamically.
All of the Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Gewurztraminer
bottled under the Ransom label is made from organically farmed grapes.
We also have an additional label called "Jigsaw" which is a blend of
Pinot Noir from organically and conventionally farmed vineyards.
Another of our major commitments is to provide the highest quality,
food friendly wines at a cost that allows for an affordable daily
ritual of sharing wine, meals and company. We believe that wine itself
is a food and should be an integral part of everyday meals. Drinking
premium quality, handcrafted wines does not need to be either expensive
or pretentious. It should not outweigh the food in either expense or
emphasis, but instead compliment the food and add to the sense of
delight and fulfillment found in gathering to eat and drink. it is the
function of wine to enhance fellowship, discussion, and the exchange of
ideas. So visit the market, invite over friends and family, and raise a
toast to health and happiness through good meals, conversation and