Patricia Green Cellars Releases First Whiskeys


January 22, 2024

Patty Green Whiskey Purple Karma SQUARE

Patricia Green Cellars, one of Oregon’s long-standing top producers of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, has released its first two whiskeys.

The 2020 wildfires devastated many Oregon wineries’ vintage, leaving them with acrid and unsellable wine. A chance encounter with distiller Lynsee Sardell led to the idea to not only distill the tainted wine, but incorporate the resulting distillate in a distinctive whiskey that reflects Oregon’s abundant landscape. The two whiskeys, Multifarious and Purple Karma Pinnacle, are available on-site at the Newberg-based winery.

The whiskeys will be sold by Patricia Green Cellars but under the moniker, Patty Green Whiskey Distillers. 

“Patty Green Whiskey Distillers seemed to be the most appropriate name for this venture,” Jim Anderson, Patricia Green Cellar Head Winemaker and Green’s business partner Jim Anderson said in a news release. “Everyone called Patricia Patty so this brings her real name into the business, as well as taking her passion to save and fix anything she could – this project would have meant a lot to her to see it work this way.”

Patty Green Whiskey Distillers purchased barley and rye from local farmers who had planted a wide array of experimental and heritage strains to create whiskeys that incorporate the best aspects of both grain and grape. The use of brandy created using the smoke-tainted harvest, rather than the traditional corn distillate, allows for both instantly recognizable whiskey-based aromatics and flavors as well as a textural component that carries the flavor to levels of complexity.

While these rare first bottlings are truly one-of-a-kind spirits, the winery will continue to make whiskeys and release them as they become ready in the foreseeable future. 

“Working with Lynsee not only gave us the ability to pivot off of our smoke-tainted wine but it also enabled us to work with a person that is creative, talented but also a collaborator with us, along with the farmers we purchase from and folks at Oregon State University who helped us develop this new expression,” Anderson said. “We never imagined the commonality whiskey and wine could have, but tasting the individually distilled grains is a lot like tasting wines from our different vineyards.”

The first two bottled whiskeys are named Multifarious, which is a blend of three strains of barley as well as a nod to the name of the winery’s high-end Pinot Noirs, and Purple Karma Pinnacle, which is the name of the Tibetan heritage barley from which the whiskey is distilled. The Multifarious was aged in both charred French oak and Oregon oak barrels with 137 cases were bottled at 98 proof.

The Purple Karma Pinnacle is an incredibly rare bottling at only 37 cases and is presented at the cask strength of 112 proof. Future releases will include strains such as Francin Barley, Baroness Barley, Gazelle Rye, and Dark Northern Rye. All grains are sourced from farms located in Oregon. 

Sardell, who was first an amateur distiller, grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, surrounded by the traditions of wine and beer making. Her family used to tell vague stories about the old family vineyard in Italy and the use of every last seed and skin to make grappa for vineyard workers. Those stories turned into a fascination with the craft of distilling. 

An entrepreneur of many trades, she opened a spirits company, Big Wild Spirits in 2020, which focuses on locally foraged botanicals and is best known for the Witch’s Gin. Sardell’s close work with the Patricia Green Cellars’ winemaking team of Anderson and Associate Winemaker Matt Russell led the three of them, along with Patricia Green Cellars’ investors, Steve and Cheryl Mozinski, to purchase Dogwood Distilling to ensure the long-term viability of the whiskey project and to allow for creativity to flow into the vodka and gin producing distillery.

It has since been re-named Die The Wolf Distillery, loosely translated as “Good Luck” in Italian, and it will continue to provide the distillation services for the winery as well as creating high-end non-grape Oregon agricultural products such as a Blueberry Eau de Vie that will be released later in 2024.

“Whiskey, especially single strain barley whiskeys, are just as expressive of Oregon’s exceptional landscape as wine or filberts or any other cultivar we have here,” Sardell said. “Working with winemakers is a dream come true in that we’re able to imbue their skill, quality, and sense of placemaking into one-of-a-kind whiskeys that are distinctly descriptive of the Pacific Northwest. Distilling whiskey, to me, is just that, concentrating an already remarkable grain into something even more expressive of place, time, and a collaborative spirit (no pun intended).”

Currently, all sales of the small-batch whiskeys are running through the winery. There are future plans to expand into Oregon bars, restaurants, and OLCC stores. While national shipping is currently highly limited, the brand will be expanding its national shipping presence at a later date. For now, you will need to visit the winery northwest of Newberg to procure your bottles.

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(Photo courtesy of Patricia Green Cellars)