In 2012, fearing for the health of their own-rooted old vines at Bethel Heights, the Casteel family bought a small property 8 miles north east, where the Eola and Amity hills meet. The new estate, Hope Well, was a hedge against their Pinot Noir plants succumbing to phylloxera. From 2013-2015, the fruit was used within the Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir. In a roundabout way, those of you who have followed Bethel Heights since our inaugural offer will already have tasted Hope Well. When we first met Mimi Casteel – daughter of Pat Dudley, one of the four founders and president at Bethel Heights – she was sharing winemaking duties with her cousin Ben Casteel; this was 2015 and, unbeknown to us, plans were already being made for Mimi to fly the nest and run Hope Well as a separate business.
Mimi is no mere ‘custodian’; she was one of the most impressive and intelligent people we met on our first trip the Oregon
“By 2015 it was clear that the old vines at Bethel Heights were in fact going to survive and it was also apparent that no matter how much love and respect my cousin Ben and I have for each other, our winemaking ambitions were heading in very different directions. By leaving Bethel Heights and managing the Hope Well project I could solve two things at once: Bethel Heights would have a single, talented winemaking vision to lead it into the future and Hope Well would have a custodian.” Mimi’s vision for Hope Well is one of the farm as a complete system. Her natural approach (which includes the production of her own vegetables from the lower portion of the estate on rich, Missoula flood soils) to both farming and winemaking has produced one of the standout wines of 2018: graceful, yet wild, the dark fruit of 2018 beautifully light (12.7%) and transparent.