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Soter Vineyards Winemaker Happy Hour & 4-Course Wine Dinner

  • PERCH 2918 West Broad Street Richmond, VA, 23230 United States (map)

Meet the winemaker at Soter Vineyard's North Valley in Willamette Valley, Oregon and enjoy a multi-course dinner with reserve wine pairings chosen by James Cahill himself. Come early for happy hour at the bar with a free wine tasting and chat with James.


4-6PM at the Perch Bar. No ticket required.


$85/person all-inclusive. Set menu. Communal seating in the private dining room. Advanced ticket required.

Please inform us of any dietary restrictions or allergies when booking your dinner.



At Soter Vineyards we farm our wine. These wines are a reflection of the intention to convey place as an essential character in everything we make. The combination of respectful farming, craftsmanship, ancient soils, and temperate climate, result in wines that are layered, nuanced and seductively captivating while remaining modest in alcohol and tannin.

The Willamette Valley is Oregon’s most recognized appellation for cool climate varietal wines, and it is in the Northern part of this region where the finest vineyards are found - an epicenter we refer to as the North Valley - which includes all of the defined sub-appellations (the Dundee Hills, Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, etc.).  It is from within this region of rolling hillsides and diverse soils that veteran winegrowers James Cahill and Tony Soter, along with North Valley partner, Michelle Soter, source certified sustainable vineyards of real “Cru” quality for these personality-driven wines.  Meticulous, hands-on attention to farming practices throughout the growing season from flowering through harvest, and minimal handling in the winery, assures a resulting level of quality normally associated exclusively with estate grown wines - in fact, we think of each vineyard site we work with as if it were a “satellite estate property”, as a statement of our genuine commitment to making the best wines we can.

North Valley wines are crafted from a diverse set of clones, soil types and microclimates, representing the various sub-appellations of our region. Our winemaking practices are time-honored, small-lot methods, using new French oak with restraint, so that the pure, regional characteristics of our wines shine brightly. These wines are what we refer to in-house as our "Regional Rock Stars"!

As a quick example of the complexity to be enjoyed by blending Pinot Noir from different vineyards within the Northern Willamette Valley, let’s briefly highlight a contrasting example from two sub-appellations side by side. In the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, for instance, the soils are entirely ancient marine sediments layered over fractured sandstone and siltstone; the oldest soils in the entire Willamette Valley. These nutrient deficient, porous soils produce wines that display considerable boldness, showcasing black and red fruits, with noteworthy spice, mineral, earth and savory flavors. By comparison, wines derived from the volcanic Jory-based soils of the Dundee Hills AVA, where we also have great vineyards to work with, tend to be a bit softer in weight and body, still fleshy, with brighter, lifted red fruit character, and a pretty core of fruit suggesting sweetness. They are generally open knit, aromatic, and very charming.


James Cahill left high school (in Connecticut) a year early to enter the prestigious Jazz Studies program at the North Texas State University.  After a couple years of study in Denton, he made a weekend trip down to Austin where it became painfully clear to him that he had been missing all the fun.  He packed his bags, moved to Austin, enrolled at the University of Texas and never looked back.   It was in Austin that James developed a passion for fine wine and while working at the Austin Wine Merchant (a Burgundy specialist) the owner and generous clientele introduced James to the greatest wines in the world:  Roumier, Claude Dugat, Dujac, Niellon and Raveneau were among the vinous epiphanies.  Over a period of years, he had the opportunity to travel around Europe visiting vineyards with several wine importers including Kermit Lynch and Robert Kacher. In fact, it was Bobby Kacher who arranged a harvest position for James at Beaux Freres.  The harvest job turned in to a full time position and owner/winemaker Mike Etzel became his mentor.   First as assistant winemaker and then Director of Operations, James enjoyed years of work in the cellar and vineyard.  This included the development and planting of the Upper Terraces.  He and his wife Marie lived at the Beaux Freres Vineyard for almost 5 years and their two sons, Ehren and Douglas Ryan, were born there.  In 2001 James was appointed Vineyard Manager and Co-winemaker at Elk Cove where he worked on the development of Mount Richmond Vineyard and transitioned some of the winery’s older vineyard sites to organic farming.The opportunity to work with Tony and Michelle at Beacon Hill would prove irresistible and in 2002 James signed on as Associate Winemaker for Soter Vineyards.  He and Tony crafted lovely Pinot Noir and developed the Sparkling wine program at the Estate.  It is worth mentioning that James’ first interview with Tony was at the Mineral Springs address; the vineyard had not been planted but the site clearly had tremendous potential.  Along with the development of the Mineral Springs Ranch there were also ambitions to explore vineyards beyond the Estate.   These ambitions inspired the creation of the North Valley brand and partnership.James is a veteran of 20 harvest seasons in Oregon.  He and North Valley partner Brian Sypher are very proud of the diversity and quality of the vineyard sites that they work with and are confident that their best work is ahead of them.

Earlier Event: February 24
Jazz Brunch
Later Event: February 27
Virginia Wine Expo Signature Dinner