Matt Cates

Matt CatesMatt Cates
Winemaker & Viticulturist 

 I was born and raised in Lake Tahoe, where wine was always present in the home. My family believed in a European style dinner where wine was always on the table and usually in everyone’s glass, of course mixed with water for the kids. My father was a sommelier in a four star restaurant and then a wholesale distributor for many years with Southern Wine and Spirits. Through this job, I was often exposed to private pourings and tasting events. Early on, I admired the authenticity, enthusiasm and passion associated with those in the wine industry and often dreamed of my career within the industry.

In 2011, I began my studies towards my Viticulture and Enology Degree at Southern Oregon Wine Institution in Roseburg, Oregon. While beginning my studies, I also worked as a cellar hand at King Estate Winery.

In 2012, Southern Oregon Wine Institute gave me the opportunity to intern for harvest at Domino De Cair in Aranda de Duero, Spain. I was entrenched in the styles of viticulture and enology surrounding Tempranillo and other traditional Spanish varieties. Here, I was able to absorb an immense amount of knowledge and education about dry farming, traditional winemaking and meter by meter head pruned vineyard practices. After working under Juan Luis Canas in Spain, my wife and I were given the opportunity to go south and work a harvest for Kim Crawford and Drylands Winery in Marlborough, New Zealand. Not only was this on the opposite side of the world but was also a completely different learning experience focusing on Sauvignon Blanc and mass production. These two experiences gave me the rare opportunity of experiencing a duel hemisphere harvest within the same harvest year. This was an invaluable education that I am forever grateful for.

In 2013, I came on board full time as the Viticulturist at Agate Ridge Vineyard, where I bring the knowledge I have gained over the years and countries to our estate vineyard here in the Oregon Wine country.

In 2014, I was appointed Head Winemaker where I intend on bringing my knowledge full circle from vine to wine coaxing pure varietal expression into our boutique estate wines.

Favorite ARV Vintage: 2008 Petite Sirah, because it is DELICIOUS!

Hobbies: Power kiting, Quading, Camping & Hiking

Fun Fact: In 2004, I won Wine Display of the Year in Lake Tahoe!

Favorite thing about Oregon: I love Oregon because the outdoor activities are unlimited. You can really live life in this state.

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