General manager Bill Hatcher is leaving Domaine Drouhin Oregon as soon as a replacement can be found. Hatcher has been with the winery since its inception in 1988, overseeing the development of the French-owned vineyard and winery, in the Red Hills of Dundee, Ore., into a 15,000-case winery that specializes in Pinot Noir.
"I will help them find someone and make the transition seamless," said Hatcher, 51, who had never worked in the wine business before Burgundy nigociant Maison Joseph Drouhin tapped him to run the operation when it bought the Oregon property. He said he wants to remain in Oregon, "preferably with another project in the wine business."
Hatcher, a published poet, said he came to the conclusion that he needed to move on while recovering from back surgery last summer. "I was on my back for four months. I had a lot of time to think, and I realized the intellectual EKG was flat," he said. "I had the Porsche, I had the big house, but it wasn't a challenge anymore. A person needs to reinvent himself from time to time."
Vironique Drouhin, the family member who is responsible for the Oregon winery, said there was no timetable to limit the search for a new manager. "We have a good relationship with Bill," she said. "We can be patient until we find the right person."
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