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“Visit the farm south of Sheridan to which Seestedt moved three years ago… if you want to experience some of the best wine values I’ve tasted anywhere in America since I was introduced to them a half dozen years ago. Wine was part of Seestedt’s labors from the beginning, and fortunately for U.S. oenophiles, he’s now ramping back up a bit – developing new vineyard contacts and contracts.” –David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate
Ransom has been producing tiny batches of outstanding Oregon wines since the 1999 vintage. Little more than a one-man operation, Tad Seestedt is the driving force behind it all. Sourcing fruit from responsibly farmed, family run vineyards around Oregon, he produces a distinctive line up of Pinot Noirs, various whites, and lesser-known varietals from southern Oregon, as well as a line-up of carefully crafted spirits and vermouths*.
He doesn’t have set rules when it comes to making the wines; he describes his decisions as being made based on “taste, the other four senses, a small degree of common sense, instinct, and, of course, what the grapes themselves want to do.” In other words, he keeps out of the way as much as possible and lets the wine express themselves true to the terroir and vintage.
For his spirits*, Tad follows traditional methods that reflect his home in the Oregon Cascades. The base wort is mashed and fermented on site weekly in small batches; organic grains are sourced locally and, where possible, incorporates barley grown on the Ransom farm. He distills his spirits in a hand-hammered, direct-fired French alembic pot still; Tad feels that a traditional distillation retains greater aromatic intensity and body from the raw materials, which are selected with great care. All of the selective cuts during distillation are made by taste and smell, without the use of computers or robots.
Ransom was the first domestic winery in the Bowler Wine portfolio and his wines have always been a reference point for the kind we like to work with: small, authentic, and distinctive. The wines have only gotten better and better, and now with the addition of a stellar lineup of spirits, we’re as excited to offer them as we were back in 2003.
*Ransom spirits are only available through Bowler in Pennsylvania.