“My roots run deep in agriculture coming from several generations of farmers. So I guess it was my destiny to end up where I am today with a vineyard, garden, pigs and chickens and pantry full of canned goods.
I grew up on a farm in Iowa where our family raised livestock and grain crops. The youngest of three girls I was my Dad’s shadow helping with chores, tagging along to the local feed store or riding in the back of the pick-up truck to check on the cows. My Mom was his partner in all things and both taught me much about the importance of hard work, caring for that which feeds you, taking pride in a job well done and independence.
Anyone who grew up in the rural Midwest in the ’60s and ’70s knows about “walking the beans” the task of pulling weeds out between the endless rows of soybeans. You would start early in the morning when the air was cool and the plants were moist with dew. By quitting time the sun was beating down hard, your legs heavy from the muddy shoes and your hands were scratched and sore. But there was also satisfaction in seeing that 80-acre field clean of weeds knowing that we were going to get a better price per bushel at harvest. It’s that “walk the beans” ethos that I have carried with me throughout life.
I went on to get a Master’s of Science in Agriculture and worked for the Missouri Department of Agriculture. That was the beginning of many job opportunities that allowed me to see the world and experience food, wine and coffee from other cultures. After 30 years in tourism, wine, and economic development I made the decision in 2012 to strike out on my own hence the beginning of Pollard Per Se. Coffee roaster, wine grape grower, winery owner and weed puller extraordinaire.”
Meet Our Team
I grew up on a farm in Iowa, the youngest of three daughters, trailing my Dad through the fields, trips to the feed mill, or hauling livestock to the sale barns. I gained an appreciation early on that farming is part skill and part luck, but that if you stick with it, it can be the most rewarding work in the world.
I went on to pursue an education in agriculture, graduating with a Master’s of Science degree from Northwest Missouri State University. Over the course of the years, I have had varied jobs that took me from the Midwest to the East Coast to Washington state. The common thread throughout was a love of the land and the food that comes from it.
Chris was Seattle’s original garagiste, making his first vintages in a skinny 600-foot space on Queen Anne. Even in that humble setting, Camarda set lofty goals firmly planted in the ideal of showing off Washington State grapes. The Wisconsin native moved to the Puget Sound when his father got a job at Boeing. A University of Washington graduate he later started his longstanding relationship with wine while working in the restaurant business. He launched Andrew Will Winery in 1989. These days he is focused on the vineyards. “We are trying to let the vineyards reveal themselves. I believe that if Washington is ever to be considered a great wine region we need to establish the characteristics of our geographical areas and the characteristics of each vineyard in those areas,” Camarda said.
Patrick with his brother Matthew owns Two Mountain Winery, manages the vineyard. They come from long-time Yakima Valley farmers and in addition to managing their own vineyards and orchards, manage several other notable vineyards in the region. Patrick’s openness to trying new techniques, his can-do attitude and enthusiasm for the site’s potential, and his inherent work ethic make him a fitting partner.