Jesus Guillen passed away yesterday far too early at the age of 37. A brilliant and humble man, he will be greatly missed by the Oregon wine community. I had the great opportunity to interview Jesus years ago. I was very nervous for this interview as it was one of the first I had done for WWB. Jesus was just as nervous as I. Soft spoken and down to earth, I cherished this conversation with him. Visiting White Rose on many occasions, I remember Jesus best for his smile that would light up a room.
Jesus is an amazing story in wine. He began working with White Rose owner Greg Sanders in the vineyard in 2002. At an extremely young age Jesus began managing the day-to-day winemaking procedures in his absence. Greg realized that Jesus had a brilliant palate and an intense desire to learn winemaking. Jesus enrolled in winemaking classes, read every book he could find on enology and viticulture and routinely picked the brains of the best winemakers in the valley. Jesus soon became Assistant Winemaker and Cellar Master and was later appointed Head Winemaker in 2008. HIs wines were incredible, showing wonderful earthy terroir and dark fruits from the Dundee Hills. I’ll be raising a glass to him tonight. Please consider donating to the Guillen family helping his wife Julie and their 10 year old son. Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/jesus-guillen or purchase a case of his delicious wine here: https://guillenfamily.com/