Bio - Ben Casteel - Winemaker
- Posted on March 28 2011, 4:48 pm
- Posted by BHV Blog
Ben is the oldest son of Terry Casteel and Marilyn Webb, co-founders of Bethel Heights Vineyard. Ben spent his summers working for his uncle Ted in the vineyard alongside his brother and cousins, but left for college with a different career path in mind. A declared English major entering the University of Oregon, it was always Ben's intention to complete his undergraduate studies, pursue a doctorate in English Literature and secure a University teaching position thereafter. A trip to Burgundy to work the 1999 harvest at Domaine de Perdrix changed everything.
After an exhilarating experience working overseas, Ben returned with a mind to work in the wine industry for a period before graduate school. He took a position as cellar assistant with Rex Hill under Lynn Penner-Ash immediately after returning from France in November of 1999 and spent the next five years working his way up from cellar assistant, to Cellar Master, and eventually Assistant Winemaker under new acting Winemaker and friend, Aaron Hess.
Ben's father called him in the Summer of 2004 to discuss the future of Bethel Heights after his retirement, and six months later Ben accepted the position of Winemaker at Bethel Heights in January of 2005.
Ben strives to continue the model established by his father and family in crafting wines that reflect vintage and terroir at Bethel Heights Vineyard. It is a vision born of thoughtful experimentation, patience, and restraint, and one that he believes can only reach fulfillment at the small winery level.
The closer the winegrower’s hands are to their wines and vines, the clearer the voice of the place and time will be expressed in the cask and bottle. It is with this vision and passion that Ben and his cousin Mimi hope to carry Bethel Heights on into the future.