DUNDEE, Ore. — Joe Dobbes drew on his life savings and 30 years of experience, including European winemaking apprenticeships, in starting Dobbes Family Estate in 2002.
Though he specialized in Pinot noir wines, the Dundee, Ore., vintner decided early on that he wanted his brand to also showcase wines made from grapes from other parts of Oregon such as the Rogue Valley.
“There is a lot of diversity in our portfolio,” Sarah Pearson, CEO of Dobbes Family Estate/Wine by Joe, said. “We have a number of varietals coming from Southern Oregon as well as from the Willamette Valley, for example, and are working with other wine regions in the state.”
They also operate Dundee Vintners, providing a variety of wines and services that include private labels and custom winemaking.
Just a year after starting the Dobbes Family Estate label for his wines, Dobbes started Wine by Joe out of a desire to offer “really good Oregon wine for people to enjoy any day or every day.”
In less than 20 years, Dobbes Family Estate/Wine by Joe has become one of the largest wine producers in Oregon, shipping 5,000 to 10,000 cases of Dobbes Family Estate wines per year while Wine by Joe/Joe to Go ships around 50,000 cases annually.
Wine by Joe has developed a following for its bright, fresh flavors that express Oregon’s character and the soils they come from.
“Wine by Joe is something that’s very relatable and approachable,” Pearson said. “We have created wines that maintain Oregon’s reputation for high quality that people can enjoy every day of the week.”
Just over three years ago the company began canning wine under the Joe to Go label, seeing it as an opportunity to take wine to places it’s never been before, whether on a boat, a hike or at a baseball game.
“Though it is meant to be enjoyed immediately, the can’s tight seal keeps the wine vibrant, delicious and fresh for 3-plus years,” Pearson said. “It maintains its integrity over time, even if somebody throws it in the back of their truck.
“There is much more opportunity for this brand; we have high expectations for it and the plans in place to make it happen,” Pearson said. “We have a very scalable operation and we just keep adjusting as we grow, and I think our nimbleness has been part of our success.”
The company is also intentional about its charitable giving. One percent of Dobbes Family Estate wine’s direct-to-consumer profits goes to environmental and sustainability efforts around the world.
“We like to be generous with our time and our resources where we can,” Pearson said. “We think we have a great platform from which we can help improve our community and the world around us.
“People are at the heart of who we are,” Pearson said. “From our employees to our partners and our esteemed guests, it is our intention to ensure everyone feels welcome and included.
“This is critical to our success, including our ability to attract and retain employees and help them thrive and to ensure our customers have a wonderful experience with our wine.”