The Oregon Coast seems a relatively unlikely place for a winery and tasting room, but Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein is turning that notion on its heels. While there may be plenty of local beer to imbibe, finding local wine is more of a challenge. That is until the Los-Angeles based filmmaker founded Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winery, mixing a little Hollywood and wine, and becoming the first African American female winery owner in Oregon.
Goldstein chose to open her tasting room in downtown Astoria because of its beauty, and everything else fell into place, finding a building that met all of her needs.
“Oregon is so beautiful and is such a welcoming place, I couldn’t think of another place I would want to do this,” she says. “There’s something about this coast that is just so appealing to me. It’s intimate and cozy and I just love the community; so full of welcoming people.”
In addition to the Astoria community, she’s also found tremendous support from the broader wine community as well, finding advisors and mentors who are helping her realize her dream. “It’s not because I’m a woman, or because I’m black,” she says.“People here just want to help.”
Inspired by Francis Ford Coppola (fellow UCLA film school alum), Goldstein always had a dream of being a winemaker. She first started making wine at home many years ago and now, coming on her one year anniversary, is already producing nearly 5,000 cases of Pinot Noir and a Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine, with rosé and Pinot Gris coming soon.
The winery is named for her grandmother Eunice, who believed in helping others. Goldstein has payed homage to her grandmother’s memory with her #purposewine program, what she explains as drinking with a purpose.
Devoted to social justice and giving back to the community, Goldstein chooses a different cause each month to donate from her wine sales and sponsors many fundraising galas and events. Through her films, Goldstein brings attention to crucial social justice issues, and with her winery, she gives back to the community with charitable donations from wine sales and sponsoring events.
Astoria isn’t the only place that caught Goldstein’s eye. She’s also in the process of developing another piece of land on the coast in Tillamook, where her winery and small vineyard is located.
With a visionary approach, she’s experimenting with growing wine grapes where grapes haven’t been grown before, planting just under an acre of Pinot Noir in 2017. She also sources fruit from other vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley as well. Ultimately, her goal is to open a bed and breakfast getaway on the Tillamook parcel with the tasting room there, targeting to open in 2020-2021.
Goldstein does not have intentions of leaving her primary career in the entertainment industry, in fact, she’s producing a film called the “Lion’s Den” that’s being filmed in Portland. So, while she never thought she would want to leave Los Angeles, between the winery and her film project, she’s spending more and more time in Oregon, and falling more in love with it every day.