Time is valuable, but some time is more valuable than others.
Joshua "Shuhe" Hawkins, co-owner of Seven Sails Vineyard in the hills above Northwest Portland found that out the hard way this past week when a routine stop at Ace Hardware in Forest Grove cost him roughly $10,000.
Hawkins, who co-owns the vineyard with Katherine Larsen, had just picked up his wine from a local winemaker between 3 and 4 p.m. on May 25, and was heading home in his pickup truck when he decided to stop at Ace for some wire crimps for some vineyard repairs.
He said he was in the store for five to seven minutes, and when he returned to his truck, 23 cases of his 2018 Pinot Gris Rouge was missing, as first reported by The Oregonian/OregonLive.com.
"The wine was all wrapped in plastic, so it was kind of tied-in and it didn't cross my mind," Hawkins said. "When I got home we were short a bunch of wines — I guess it was a bad choice."
While the circumstances might suggest someone with inside knowledge of his operation, Hawkins thought it unlikely.
"I can't think of a single person who even knew I was going to pick up the wine," he said. "I think someone just saw an opportunity and took advantage of it."
A portion of the wine was found two days after the fact, dumped on the side of Highway 47 between Yamhill and Carlton. A third party reported their finding to Hawkins, but nothing has tipped him or the authorities as to who may have been involved.
"I think they must've seen the Oregonian article or someone told them or something," Hawkins said. "But they also maybe didn't know how to get rid of it."
Hawkins and Larsen typically produce between 150 and 300 cases of pinot gris per year. It retails for $35 per bottle. With 12 bottles per case, his total loss on the 23 cases is $9,660.
What remains of the cases is presently in storage and has not yet made its way to stores. If you see any of the missing wine, contact the Forest Grove Police Department at 503-992-3260.
The winemakers understand that recovering what's left of the wine is unlikely, but despite the bad fortune, Hawkins and Larsen won't be discouraged.
"We'll just keep keeping on, as they say," Hawkins said with a chuckle. "We still have wine if anyone's interested."
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