Patricia "Patty" Green was a spirited soul, working in her twenties in forestry in Oregon and as a commercial fisher off the coast of Baja, Mexico. Green was still in high school when she made her first wine, fermenting fruit in glass carboys in her closet without her family's knowledge. And it was winemaking that became her calling, most notably at Torii Mor winery and then at her own Patricia Green Cellars.
Green, 62, died Nov. 6 in an apparent accident inside her rural cabin retreat near Roseburg, Ore. "The apparent cause was a fall," Jim Anderson, her business and winemaking partner, told Wine Spectator. "Unfortunately, even I have very little information."
Born in Chicago, Green moved around the country with her family before eventually settling in Oregon in 1972. Her first wine-related job was picking grapes at Hillcrest Winery in southern Oregon in 1986, and she later worked harvests for David Adelsheim in the early 1990s. In 1993, Green signed on as the first winemaker for Torii Mor, where she soon met Anderson.
Buying the former Autumn Winds Winery in 2000, Green and Anderson launched Patricia Green Cellars. It's a 52-acre estate located in the Ribbon Ridge region of the Willamette Valley, a stone's throw from Beaux Frères winery. Green's 2015 Pinot Noirs were among the best rated by Wine Spectator in the winery's history.
"Patty was a mighty force and an old soul crammed into a small little body," Anderson said. "Her approach to winemaking was pure. She had done so many interesting and crazy things in her life. She had no motivations to be famous or acknowledged or even particularly that well paid."