William Marie Wines is a husband and wife collaboration between Monique Marie and Edward William Lefferts. Ed and Mo met each other in 2008 while working together at T Cooks restaurant, within the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. After meeting in the restaurant, the two quickly found they shared many passions, namely, great food and wine. Shortly thereafter, the two were dating and making plans to turn their passion into a livelihood.
As Ed was approaching the end of his spring semester at ASU, the couple began discussing the idea of leaving the desert behind. They considered the possibilities of California, Oregon, and Washington, eventually agreeing on Portland Oregon as their future destination. Both knew Portland had a reputation as a food-savvy city, and one of the leading “green” communities in the country. Additionally, Portland sits next to one of the largest growing wine regions in the U.S. Combined with Ed's continued study in Sustainability, it seemed like a perfect fit.
It was a gamble, but Mo and Ed were able to find the courage to leave friends and family behind, bound for the Pacific Northwest, and have yet to look back. The two packed up their belongings, including their five dogs, and began a new journey together in May of 2010.
Upon arrival, the couple settled into their small community of Camas Washington, and immediately knew they had made the right decision. Both Ed and Mo worked a series of short jobs over the first year until landing worthy positions in two of Portland’s flagship restaurants. Monique began a position at Veritable Quandary, a place well known for its historic downtown presence. Ed meanwhile, made himself at home with the Ringside Hospitality Group, another one of Portland’s long-standing institutions. Both positions proved to be paramount in fostering the relationships needed to bring their dream to fruition. After Monique enjoyed 6 great years with VQ, she too is now with Ringside at their historical Portland Steakhouse.
Three and half years of hard work and dedication in the restaurants led to numerous relationships, and a few attempts at acquiring fruit. But it was in March of 2014 that Ed was introduced to Bradford Cowin, winemaker of Script Cellars and Adega Northwest, and a friendship was born. Bradford was instrumental to the couple's entry into the world of wine-making. Bradford helped Ed source the 2014 fruit, along with some necessary equipment, and offered his trusted advice through the wine-making process. Cowin eventually orchestrated a monumental step in landing both parties into custom crush contracts for processing the grapes at Day Winery in Dundee for the 2015, and 2016 vintages. Then in 2017 we went urban, moving to Urban Crush, a custom-crush winery in SE Portland. Both Ed and Monique are extremely grateful to Bradford for his assistance from the beginning. None of this would have been made possible in such short time without his tutelage.
Entering the 2017 harvest, WMW is steadily growing and looking forward to processing 6 tons of fruit to include 2 different single vineyard designate Cabernet Sauvignons, a Syrah, and a Rosé of Syrah.
Post Harvest Update: The yields from the 2017 harvest left us with 7 Barrels of Firethorn Cabernet, 3.5 Barrels of Double Canyon Cabernet, 3.5 Barrels of Double Canyon Syrah and 2 Barrels of Destiny Ridge Vineyard Rosé of Syrah.