Finnigan Hill Vineyard

“Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.”

Henry David Thoreau

They say choosing the terroir and soil for winegrapes is more important than choosing who you will marry.  It couldn’t be more true for the finicky grape, Pinot Noir.  It requires the perfect soil conditions and the love and attention from those who tend the vine.  When I first stepped foot into the vineyard it hit me like a lightening bolt – this place was a dream come true and I knew I’d spend the rest of my days here.  I came home to these roaming hills on Finnigan Hill in the fall of 2011.

Cassie Wieden - IMG_1435My name is Cassie Wieden, and I am the owner/operator of Finnigan Hill Vineyards.  This blog is about my personal, professional something of spiritual journey through these first few years here at the vineyard.

I encourage you to read my entries in hopes that you will laugh and learn right along with me. Feel free to visit often, and I look forward to your feedback.

Thank you for visiting!


My vineyard journal is in chronological order beginning upon my return to these hills, but you can also jump to the most current entry if you wish.

December 2011

I’ve been at the vineyard almost 2 1/2 months now. The grapes are harvested, equipment winterized, pipes drained and the house decorated for Christmas. The mornings are beautiful and quiet. We’ve had a dry December, and the sun rises far south, lighting all four mountains with pink and gray tones. The frost usually melts just … Continued

January 12 2012

The raccoons are giving Miss Kitty a hard time in the barn and driving my dog, Simon a bit crazy.  They torture the poor cat, eat her food and pee all over the barn.  Simon barks up a storm but doesn’t dare get in a real fight.  I have a live trap but then what? … Continued

January 19 2012

Today was a bit more grueling with brush-pulling in the vineyard—I think renaming this grueling chore to back breaking, face and leg whipping is more appropriate!  It’s a great anger management activity since you’re yanking and pulling like hell to get a single tendril to break from a catch wire. I was thankful that Simon, … Continued

January 25 2012

Sunrise at 7:15ish—an array of pink, red, periwinkle. A beautiful day on the farm!  I made coffee and ordered a couple of things for the team room in the barn then headed out to the orchard to prune.  It’s an old orchard, but it has a good mix of apples, plums, pears and cherries. It … Continued

February 2012

My body is sore and scratched from the work, and I couldn’t be more content. Working alongside the guys is challenging but inspiring at the same time. They are well seasoned and have perfected tricks to the trade that I stumble to maneuver.  I worked in slow in my row and told them to move … Continued

July 2012

I met Rudy from Montinore today. He’s been farming biodynamic grapes for 20 some odd years.  A good, down-to-earth man with a love for nature and a ton of experience with the nuances of bio-D. We’re in the last throws of summer.  I’ve never been so concerned about the weather!  The grapes look good—a couple … Continued

November 2012

Harvest and crush happened, whew!  An epic year with the quintessential Oregon weather made me fall in love with this place, this job, this life all over again. The number of awe-inspiring sunrises is too many to count—the amount of sweat, laughter, learning, smelling, worrying, waking and pure desire wanting to be one with it … Continued


When I look back at 2013, the most valuable experience I had was interning at a local winery.  I made lifelong friends, learned a ton about making wine and got an up close and personal introduction into biodynamic vineyards.  After having followed my team in my own vineyard for a year I figured it was … Continued


Harvest 2013 wrapped up, and my relationship went from limping along to collapse. I started 2014 meeting with an adoption agency, and a promise to myself that my family was out there somewhere, and my job was to keep bringing my best self to each day so that we could find each other when the … Continued

January 2015

Life and love don’t always follow a straight line. The transitions of 2014 were painful and by the year’s end the fatigue of change had worn my boundaries down. The holidays pulled at my heart and I reconsidered a relationship I’d been wrestling with for a couple of years now.  Still, I found myself ringing … Continued