Carol Thomas – Owner of Wine Tours Northwest

I was born and raised in Oregon.

My first Oregon wine experience was too long ago to mention dates.  I was about 18 and just out of high school.  My friends and I had heard of Henry Enery’s Winery, on the Clackamas River, several miles southeast of Portland.  We drove out there hoping that we might be able to purchase some wine.  The winery (tasting room??) was down some slippery steps, and it was dark and dank.  They only made fruit wines which were sold by the gallon!!!  We were able to purchase a gallon or two from the only person there, probably the owner/winemaker.  We all agreed that it was the best thing we had ever tasted!  Henry Enrey’s was opened in the early 1950’s (or before) making it one of Oregon’s oldest wineries.  NEEDLESS TO SAY, OREGON WINES (and my palate) HAVE IMPROVED GREATLY SINCE THEN!!!

In the years that followed I was married then divorced when my children were 5, 7 and 8.  I raised three as a single parent, working for many years at Nordstrom, retiring with a lifetime discount.   During the later part of those years my single friends and I drank mostly Carlo & Rossi Hearty Burgandy sold in the half gallon size.  An improvement over Henry Enery’s!!!

My current wine experience, education, and passion for all things wine, began when I met Mike (wine tasting) in 1993.  We attended many wine events, tastings, and dinners.  At the first wine dinner I was invited to at Mike’s house there were 4 wine glasses at every place setting.  I’d never seen anything like that before!  But, I definitely wanted to learn more!!!

Mike and I were married in the summer of 1995.  There have been too many more exciting wine experiences, since then, to list here.

Mike took an early retirement in 2000, and since his passion has always been travel, wine and food we started Wine Tours Northwest that same year.

I was hired as a part-time wine steward at Hollywood Fred Meyer (Kroger) in 2000.  I quickly became assistant wine steward working far more hours than I had originally intended.

In October 2001 I became the first fulltime wine steward at the Tigard Fred Meyer Store.  During my time at Fred Meyer I attended many wine education classes, events and seminars.

In 2004 I left Fred Meyer to become a part-time wine steward at Albertsons.  I left Albertsons in 2008.

I now work with Mike, at Wine Tours Northwest, as the customer service coordinator.

When Julia Child was asked what her favorite wine was she replied… GIN!!!

Carol Thomas