Our Story

Francois Rabeliais’ 16th century giant was named Gargantua.

He lived in and created a world of extravagant hedonism that held comedy, irreverence, obscenity and adventure. I believe that everyone has a Gargantua hidden inside of them, mine happens to be a love affair with the Northern Rhône grape varietal, Syrah. So now, after 18 intense years of solely focusing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, gargantua is a new Bergström Wines effort to craft world class Syrah from the West Coast of the United States.

The gargantua labels are original paintings created by my childhood friend, Nat Meade,  a talented and thoughtful artist living in Brooklyn, New York. I encourage you to visit his website to discover his vivid expressions on canvas. When I decided to finally bring our Syrah to life, I immediately thought of Nat to create the image. The paintings depict a man whose shadow is that of a beast: Gargantua. The different colors of each label represent the state and appellation character. Our version of gargantua, with the text intentionally presented in small, lower case type, speaks to the creation of wines that are balanced, reserved and driven by acidity and perfume.

I have selected great vineyard sites in Oregon and California for their perfection of soils, exposure, climate and farming vis-à-vis, Syrah. The grapes are hand-picked, fermented in traditional whole cluster style (no destemming) and aged in large format French oak demi-muids and ovals. Both wines have over two years of bottle aging were released in late spring, 2017.

For more information, please read my blog or Harvey Steiman’s review at the Wine Spectator Blog.

These wines are 18 years in the making. I hope you celebrate them as much as I enjoy bringing them to life.