Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Remembering our Roots – Pamela J. Tefft

Ray McKee reads a eulogy to his mother at the memorial service

Pamela J. Tefft passed away June 28, 2016. Shirley and I got to know Pam while she was the bookkeeper at Stewart Winery in Granger, Washington. We were just starting Bonair Winery in 1985 and she helped us with our ATF reports. She later went on to cofound Tefft Cellars Winery in Outlook, Washington with her husband Joel Tefft in 1991.
A memorial service was held Sunday July 10, 2016 at Bonair Winery. It was attended by family and the staff and owners of local wineries. Her son, Ray, who is the red winemaker for Ch. Ste. Michelle, led the service.
The founders of the Washington wine industry are long forgotten as everyone is focused on what’s new and hot or what's old and stale. As Winston Churchill once said, “A nation that forgets its past has no future.” Maybe a wine industry that forgets its past has not future either. As the Washington Wine Commission keeps telling the same old stories, it misses much of the history of the industry. I guess our problem is we have never produced a Robert Mondavi or a Georges de Latour or even a Fred Franzia.
Ron Irving and Dr. Walter Clore actually told the story in 1998, but I’m sure none of the staff at the Wine Omission has read it. The book is out of print, but you can still find it on

1 comment:

  1. I'm sad to hear about this. Tefft was the first winery I visited in Washington, and Pam greeted us when we came in. Bought our first case of wine that day (Rosey Outlook Cab Franc rosé). I had many great conversations with Pam, and she was no doubt an inspiration to me focusing my career on the wine industry.