Golden Cluster was born in 2013 by longtime Portland resident, Jeff Vejr (aka The Winesman). Mr. Vejr was obsessed with old vines and the art of blending wines, so he set out to work with a different producer of “old vines” each vintage. First stop was Priorat, Spain in 2010 at Genium Cellars. This collaboration led to the creation of his first wine, the 2010 ‘Poboleda’ a blend of 125+ year old Cariñena, Garnacha, Merlot, and Syrah. In 2011, Mr. Vejr was given a similar opportunity at Domaine Olivier Pithon, in Calce, France. This time the blend was Syrah and Grenache from an 85+ year old vineyard. By 2012, Mr. Vejr had an opportunity to work with his friend Jesse Skiles of Fausse Piste an urban winery in Portland, Oregon. There he assisted Mr. Skiles with his growing “Rhone” project, sourcing Syrah, Grenache, and Viognier from around Oregon and Washington state. He also helped build and open one of Portland’s first gastropubs, Sauvage, dedicated to natural wines.
For 2013, the plan was to make a wine with Gary Mills of Jamsheed winery in the Yarra Valley, Australia, but fate stepped in. On a vineyard tour with Barnaby Tuttle of Teutonic Wine Company, Mr. Vejr was brought to the David Hill Vineyard & Winery to see the “old vine” Sylvaner and Chasselas that Barnaby sourced. While walking the vineyard, Mr. Vejr noticed some huge vines and inquired as to what they were. The answer was “Semillon” and destiny rang her bell. Semillon was Mr. Vejr’s first white wine love. To know that one of the oldest vineyards in Oregon had 48+ year old Semillon vines in it was a shock to him. There was really only one thing to do, stay in Oregon and make some “old vine” wines……In the preceding years, Mr. Vejr was able to secure not only the Semillon, but “old vine” Gewurztraminer, Flora, Pinot Noir, and he was instrumental in discovering the oldest known Savagnin Rose vines in the U.S.A. Mr. Vejr is also a co-owner of Les Caves, one of Portland’s most popular and acclaimed wine bars. Having previously helped to launch Portland’s “pop-up” scene with Chef’s Will Preich & Joel Stocks at Holdfast Dining, Mr. Vejr has a long been developing small, intimate, service-oriented restaurants and bars. He is known for his ease in describing wines, places and the people behind them. His authenticity is one of the main reasons why he has development a loyal following in the Portland market and beyond. With no formal wine education, Mr. Vejr has established himself as one of the leaders of the “non-somm” movement in Portland. Fearless in what wines he pours, Mr. Vejr has captured the attention of the Portland consumer by pouring Georgian wines, orange wines, and has long been a champion of lesser known wine grapes and wine regions. This freedom to pour what moves him, has allowed Mr. Vejr to gain a wider appreciation of wine and wine culture. These personal experiences have added to the allure of his private wine classes via Airbnb Experiences. It has been, to date, the most popular Airbnb Experience in Oregon.
Golden Cluster is now a family of brands. Follow this next generation of Oregon wines.