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Oregon Winemaker Patricia Green Dies in Apparent Accident

The body of the cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker was found inside her cabin retreat
Patricia Green in one of her vineyards in Oregon's Ribbon Ridge appellation.
Photo by: Moment of Thyme
Patricia Green in one of her vineyards in Oregon's Ribbon Ridge appellation.

Tim Fish
Posted: November 7, 2017

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."

Wayne Oppenheimer
Portland Oregon  —  November 8, 2017 11:42am ET
What a sad day! For those who had met her, she was a gentle soul, talented beyond recognition. Her wines were pure, a complete expression of the vineyards she either owned or purchased fruit from. I raised a glass of her 2014 Pommard last night and will be forever grateful we had the pleasure to meet.
Tim Fish
Sonoma County —  November 8, 2017 12:43pm ET
Thanks for the comment Wayne. I was supposed to meet her over the summer but had to cancel my trip. Her recent Pinots were just lovely.
Michael Hixson
Orange County, CA —  November 8, 2017 1:56pm ET
Very sad news, indeed. Patty was the standard-bearer for excellence in Oregon Pinot Noirs and truly a legend. She inspired and mentored many others, and leaves huge footprints in the Oregon terroir...and a brilliant legacy. RIP, Patty.
Craig Plainfield
Portland, oregon —  November 8, 2017 6:39pm ET
Patty was such a wonderful person and a great winemaker. I will miss her very much. I remember one time she and I were in her barrel room tasting through the vintage in barrel. She seemed very tired and a bit disorientated. She explained that she had just gotten back from Burgundy. I asked her when she got back and she said just now. I couldn't believe she was hosting me under such circumstances. I told her the wine could wait and she should go to bed. What a great lady.
Lee Hammack
Rockville, Virginia —  November 15, 2017 7:15pm ET
I lament the loss of this talented winemaker and intrepid spirit.
Gerald Tye
Scottsdale, Arizona —  November 27, 2017 3:07pm ET
I had the pleasure of meeting Patty on several occasions in our stores, in Scottsdale, AZ, and at a wine dinner in Cave Creek. She was gracious, intelligent, and very much "down to earth." Selling her wines was a pleasure, too, to so many of my customers, as well. I shall miss her very much, in many ways. Good-bye, dear friend and teacher.

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