Joel Myers was raised in Sacramento, California, where he first crossed paths with several families that later would influence his life and career in the wine industry monumentally, including Oregon wine pioneers Charles Coury and David Lett. Myers described his evolving career in the wine industry as “a part-time job that started thirty-five years ago.” After graduating from the University of Oregon, Myers had the opportunity to work for the Lett family in their vineyard. An anticipated few weeks worth of work turned into a career that is still active today. Myers evolved from a farmhand to a grape grower and vineyard manager. Myers is passionate about grape growing and the science of agriculture. Today, Myers and his family manage vineyards for others through their company Vinetenders, growing some of their own grapes and making wine on the side as their personal business continues to develop.
In this interview, Joel Myers discusses his involvement in the wine industry and his relationships with fellow grape growers and winemakers. His family and business dynamics are also explained. Myers shares his insights into the future of the Willamette Valley and Oregon in the wine industry, as well as what he believes to be the identity of the area.
This interview was conducted by Rich Schmidt and Camille Weber on February 19, 2015.