9/1/2023 — The last of Paetra (winery has shut down)

$5 of every bottle sold goes to “Bucks for Bill” … right back to Bill Hooper as a thank you!

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$5 of every bottle sold goes to “Bucks for Bill” … right back to Bill Hooper as a thank you!

Hi everyone –

The wine business is tough. It’s much more difficult than many realize.

Name me another business with these variables: temperature variations that change every year, too much rain, too little rain, disease pressure, wildfires and smoke, blazing heat spikes, and hailstorms and frost that can destroy an entire harvest. Okay, if you’re a farmer you get it.

But then add to that the fact that you’re trying to make a product for the future, often years down the road. And you have to pay for everything up front: the grapes, the labor, the bottles, the barrels, and the rental of a winemaking space or the mortgage on a winery.

Then, years down the road, you hope the world loves your wine and buys it.

It’s exhausting, complicated, hard work.

I’m sorry to report that Paetra Winery, founded by our good friend Bill Hooper, has closed.

Here’s what Bill sent out:

Hello My Friends,

It is with great sadness that I’m announcing the end of the road for Paetra Wine Company. After a decade of farming, making wine, and getting to travel the Country meeting new friends and supporters, it is time to call it. I’ve put my heart and soul into my work and believe that I’ve made some of the best wines to ever be produced in Oregon. That said, the financial burden, as well as the huge impacts of the Covid pandemic and recent forest fires have made it unsustainable.

I love the work I’ve done and am so proud of what I’ve accomplished. My family has been fed from the literal fruits of our labor and the kids have grown up feeling proud of their contributions. Wine and the cycles of the vine is really all that they have known.

I want to thank you all for your support over the years. Without you, this would not have been possible and I am eternally grateful.

I would also ask you all to continue your support of small, family-owned wineries who make exceptional wine and to put emphasis on their livelihood. It’s getting competitive out there and it’s only getting worse with price increases and buy-outs.

Thank you again! I love you all! I hope to see you again in a different capacity and share a glass of wine.


Bill, Laura, Kaspar, Colette, Owen, and Ella

Weinbau Paetra

Me and Hooper, having a special moment.

Background: Paetra Winery

Bill Hooper (aka “Hoops”) and I go way way back. The first time I met him, I was a wine sales rep and he was the new wine buyer at Zipp’s Liquor on Franklin Avenue. This was probably 2004 or 2005. Bill’s knowledge of wine was pretty good, but I noticed it got better every single week. Dude was reading everything he could, absorbing every bit of info, and he tasted all the wines that came his way. In short order, he was one of the most knowledgeable buyers in town.

He left that job to be a wine sales rep for a key fine wine distributor, which he did for a few years before packing up and moving to Germany to learn how to make the best Riesling in the world. During that time we would occasionally publish the “Hooper Dispatch” on this website to keep us up on what he was doing.

** Take note of the chapters, jump around in the video, and enjoy learning about these wines, Bill’s farming philosophy, some insider info on wine sales and distribution, and some wonderful stories. **

Be sure to watch the part of the video where Chuck tells the story of first meeting Hoops. It’s awesome.
Look for chapter 9.

Fate took him to Willamette Valley, where he established his wine brand, Weinbau Paetra, and went on to contract tiny parcels of top vineyards, doing all the work himself.

The last of Bill’s Pinot Noirs

This is it. The last wines of Paetra available in Minnesota. The photos are from when we first offered these wines, last October, hence the Halloween theme on the placemat.

The 2021 Pinot Noir vintage in general

“Absolutely perfect, which we needed after 2020. Good summertime burst of heat at the right moment. Not a super late harvest. No sunburn. As perfect as it gets.” – Bill

Paetra Arlyn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021

12.8% ABV.
150 case total production.

From a top-notch vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains, across the road from Adelsheim winery and north of Bergström. Super pretty, bright red fruits abound. Lively and lifting aromas along with sensual red fruits throughout. Just outstanding.

And the label colors make it perfect for Halloween (the original homage: they are the colors of Bill’s kids’ school).

Paetra Benarik Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021

12.4% ABV.
125 case total production.

Bill’s favorite of the three Pinot Noirs. From an old dry-farmed and own-rooted vineyard (incredibly rare to find) located in the far northern parts of Willamette Valley, north of the well-known sub-AVAs. Spicy, peppery, loaded with herbal components in the aromas (sage and thyme especially). Bill’s dream pairing with this is braised lamb shank.

And the colors make it a great gift for a Vikings fan. (The original homage: they are the colors of Bill’s alma mater, Cretin-Derham Hall!)

Buying advice

It’s always sad when a favorite winery shuts their doors. But the magic of wine is that we have a time capsule that we can open in the future, to remind us of what was and to share memories of something special.

The local distributor for Paetra stepped up when Bill needed it the most and cut him a nice check for his remaining inventory. Wines of this quality, and this minuscule quantity, rarely come around. This is a unique opportunity to have something special (and now, extinct) in your cellar.

Thank you, everyone! We couldn’t do this without you!

Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education

Offer and special pricing are available through Monday, or as inventory lasts

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