Guillén Family Wines
Jesús Guillén is a soft-spoken artist, a passionate crafter, and a family man. He was appointed head winemaker at White Rose Estate Winery in 2008, before founding Guillén Family Wines,one of the very few Latino-owned wine labels in the USA.
Jesús started as a computer systems engineering his hometown of Ciudad Jiménez in northern México. But on a 2002 visit to Oregon where his dad was a vineyard manager at White Rose, he fell in love with the landscape, its wine, and the “winemaking lifestyle” .
To master the craft, Jesús started from the bottom, working hard at the vineyard while studyingESL at Chemeketa Community College. During the hot summer of 2006, about 1,300 plants were heavily damaged, and Jesús asked if he could salvage the fruit. From that batch came his first bottle of pinot noir, after tasting it, he knew that he wasn’t aspiring anymore, he was a winemaker.
It wasn’t till 2008 when Jesús established his own label, Guillén Family Wines, he invested all his savings to make his own wines in the traditional and very challenging Burgundy fashion of whole cluster fermentation.
Guillén Family Wines has grown as a solid family business, producing around a thousand cases per year and earning recognition as a complex and sophisticated product.
Jesús names his pinot noir wines after family members: “Adrián” 2014, for his son, “Esteban” 2015 and “Damián” 2014, for his nephews, and a “Yuliana,” 2015 reserve named after his wife will soon be available. He has also been featured in a 2017 documentary about minority winemakers named “Red, White and Black.”
Industry: Food & Beverage
Location: Dayton, OR