Janie Brooks Heuck, Managing Director at Brooks Winery, Chair of WineAmerica
Janie Brooks Heuck, a Portland, Oregon native, is Managing Director of Brooks Winery located in Amity, Oregon. Janie has always had a commitment to social responsibility and the environment, which is apparent through her work at the winery. As of January 2019, Brooks Winery became a Certified B Corporation, a forward thinking company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The winery has also recently partnered with 1% For The Planet. 1% of all gross revenues at Brooks will directly benefit a qualified not for profit approved by 1% Of The Planet.
Janie had no intentions of being in the wine industry – other than being a proud and supportive sister to the founder of Brooks Wines, her brother, Jimi Brooks. Upon Jimi’s unexpected passing in 2004, Janie quickly found herself responsible for the business operations of the winery. Eager to gain knowledge of the wine industry as quickly as possible, she surrounded herself with Oregon’s highly respected winemakers and business advisors and enrolled in a Viticulture and Enology course at UC Davis to increase her acumen in the industry.
The outpouring of generosity and guidance extended by the Oregon wine community took Janie by surprise. She soon realized what a successful brand her brother had created and what a visionary Jimi was with restoring the reputation of Riesling, biodynamic farming and blending practices. As time evolved, Janie continued to gain experience, which resulted in the desire to carry out Jimi’s wish – for Brooks Wines to be more than a winery, a family legacy that he hoped one day would be continued by his son Pascal. With fourteen years at the helm, Janie continues her commitment to keep Brooks in line with Jimi’s vision.
After all, it is a family legacy for her as well. Janie has been volunteering her time to run Brooks since 2004 and the sole owner is Jimi’s son, Pascal. Since his passing, Janie has increased the production from 3,500 cases to 20,000 cases. In addition, she is President of the Board of Directors of International Riesling Foundation, Vice Chair of the Board of Wine America and the media committee for the International Pinot Noir Celebration.
Brooks has been able to maintain the same vineyard sources and winemaking style, while growing the business to meet the consumer and market demands. Janie has also moved the production of Brooks Wines from other wineries, to its own space perched high on the hilltop in the Eola Hills AVA. A 13,000 square foot building for production and hospitality area were built in 2014. It continues to be one of the busiest tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley and has received many accolades including Top 5 Wineries Not To Miss In Oregon (USA Today) and Top 100 Destinations in Oregon (2017, 2018 and 2019). The Brooks story has captivated many through the documentary American Wine Story and the Fox TV Show Strange Inheritance.
In 2009, Janie and her husband purchased the 20-acre Eola Hills Vineyard (now known as Brooks Estate), which has some of the oldest Pinot Noir and Riesling in the Willamette Valley. Brooks continues to focus on Riesling, Pinot Noir and Aromatic whites producing over 50 labels in 2017 with almost half being Rieslings.
Janie and her husband, David, reside in Pebble Beach, California with their two children Emily and Ryan. Janie enjoys exercising and being involved in the community where she resides. She is continuing wine studies and has achieved her Introductory Level of the Court of Master Sommeliers and is currently studying for the Level 3 Wine and Spirits Education Trust.