- Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States
Hamacher Wines is a classic example of how we choose wineries to work with at Bowler: Samples are sent to the office, the bottles are popped in the afternoon, and a few of us taste and discuss. Everyone agrees that the wines are very good, and a great fit for our portfolio, but we have too many producers in our book, and the reps are already overwhelmed by the number of wines to sell. So, we make the difficult decision to pass. That evening, David Bowler brings the samples home, and in the middle of a glass of one of the wines (Bieze Vineyard in Hamacher's case), he has an epiphany and emails the winemaker letting them know we changed our minds and want to work together. Great wine is hard to pass up, especially in DB's case.
Eric Hamacher got the wine bug in the 80s while studying biochemistry and food science at U.C. Davis. His wine journey that followed led him to California working for Mondavi, Chalone, and Etude, but the cool climate and unchartered territory of Oregon eventually stole his heart. In 1995, he moved up to the Willamette Valley and started Hamacher Wines. In 2002, after having bounced around winemaking facilities for seven years, Eric founded the Carlton Winemakers Studio where he would make his wines for the next decade. Finally, in 2014 he moved his operation into the old Ponzi facility thanks to a connection he had made – his wife Luisa Ponzi.
Eric’s winemaking is old-world in style without ignoring the fact that he is making wine in the new world. Seeking elegance and texture, he harvests on the earlier side, ferments with natural yeasts at cool temperatures, and ages the wines in mostly neutral barrels. His production has been around 2000 cases per year and has been that way since he started the winery. Eric’s wines are deliciously classic Oregon, and showcase the terroir of the Willamette Valley beautifully.