Archery Summit, the Willamette Valley winery started by Pine Ridge Vineyards founders Robert “Gary” Andrus and Nancy Andrus Duckhorn, is making big changes among its top staff. M. Eleni Papadakis is coming on board as assistant winemaker and Tim Scott will be the new vineyard manager. Last year the winery, now owned by Crimson Wine Group, brought on a new winemaker and general manager, Chris Mazepink. The move is a shuffle of top talent in Dundee Hills, where Archery, along with Domaine Serene and Domaine Drouhin, have been producing some of the area's top Pinot Noirs.
Papadakis, who served as winemaker for Domaine Serene from 2008 to 2011, is replacing Kathryn Payne Brown, who held the job of assistant winemaker for more than five years. Scott, a 31-year veteran of Willamette Valley viticulture, was previously vineyard manager for Domaine Drouhin Oregon and, prior to that, Rex Hill.
“With Eleni I’ve found someone who has very similar palate preferences to me who is going to help us push the qualitative boundaries for Pinot Noir,” Mazepink told Wine Spectator. “It’s an incredibly exciting all-star cast that we have assembled and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about our early results.”
Archery Summit shook up a sleepy Willamette Valley wine industry two decades ago when it offered two separate 1994 bottlings at the then-unheard-of price of $50. Its Archery Summit Estate Pinot Noir has been priced at $150 since the 2000 vintage. The wines routinely receive outstanding scores and the 1999 and 2005 vintages of Arcus Estate earned a classic 95 points. Today the winery produces 14,000 cases annually, the majority of which is sold directly to consumers through the wine club and tasting room.
A leadership turnover began in March 2013, when then-winemaker Anna Matzinger departed after a 14-year run to focus on her young family and the wine Matzinger Davies, which she produces with her husband, Michael Davies, who is winemaker at Rex Hill and A to Z Wineworks.
Former vineyard manager Leigh Bartholomew departed Archery Summit at the end of 2013. Bartholomew now oversees vineyard management next door to Archery Summit at Domaine Drouhin Oregon, formerly managed by Scott.
“We looked to all corners of the globe, interviewing candidates from Burgundy, California and Oregon,” Mazepink told Wine Spectator. “After an extremely thorough process, we were able to hire the guy from right across the fence.”
Crimson Wine Group, a Napa-based holding company, owns Archery Summit as well as Pine Ridge. Crimson president and CEO Erle Martin said his plans for Archery Summit may include an uptick in production volume, though nothing is in the works yet. “If the market rewards us with more demand for our wines, we will seek to fill that,” he said.