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Forthright Winery

Patrick Mc Evoy, Owner / Winemaker

Patrick’s Grampa Joe "Bub" Mc Evoy emigrated from Ireland, settled in Dearborn Michigan, and was the proprietor of the Scenic Gardens Pub across the street from a Ford Motor Automobile Plant.  It was a family friendly shot-and-a-beer spot and had the usual array of regulars such as the Squirrels – Three small redheaded brothers who were in the tree trimming business, Ray the Painter, Howard the Mechanic, etc.  The bumper pool table in the pub at 25 cents per game put both his father and aunt through four years of college at the University of Michigan.  His father met his mother on her 21st birthday at the Pretzel Bell while on leave from the Navy.  She started her celebration by cutting her fake ID in half.  His father immediately asked her out on a date. Patrick was born in 1964 in Rochester, NY.

Patrick would spend summers with his grandparents on Wampler Lake in the Irish Hills, Michigan where cocktail hour would start at 5pm sharp.  While there would be beer and whisky served some would prefer more sophisticated drinks such as Boons Farm and E & J Gallo from the jug.  These were his first introductions to wine.

Patrick and his sister Lynne both followed in his parent’s footsteps and attended the University of Michigan.  He graduated with a BA in Economics and a slight ability to speak and read Russian.  Not knowing any other Russian speakers at the time he quickly lost proficiency.

Shortly after graduating Patrick moved back in with his parents who lived in a suburb just west of Chicago.  A week or two after moving back home his father said Patrick was eating too much and he had to charge Patrick $25 in rent per month.  Every week he raised it $25 until Patrick moved out.  It didn’t take long.

Patrick moved to downtown Chicago and was hired as a runner on the CBOE.  After a very short orientation period on the trading floor he was hired by the market making firm Hull Trading.  After several years working on trading systems for them he was given the opportunity to move to London to help set up their office there.  One benefit to sending him overseas was that he had an Irish passport and therefore didn’t need a work permit.

It was during the 20 years Patrick lived in Europe that he really gained an appreciation for wine.  He discovered his first wine bar while living in London.  The English are quite well known for their love of Port, Claret and Champagne, with all being equal favorites.  Following a move to Frankfurt he was fortunate to learn about and appreciate the white wine varietals from along the Rhein.  He later moved to Amsterdam where he settled down for the longest stint in one location since he was born.  During his 10 years plus living there he was able to travel extensively and he spent quite a lot of time in Paris, Bourgogne, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley in France, Madrid, Barcelona, Rioja and Ribera Del Duero in Spain and Rome, Milan, Turino, Umbria, Trentino Alto Adige, Piedmont and Lombardy in Italy.

The wine culture in Europe gets into your skin and you adjust your lifestyle accordingly.  Once Patrick moved back to Chicago with his Dutch partner, Helma, they embraced the food and wine scene there fully.  Finally, in 2006 he made his first trip out to Napa.  Right away he felt at home. During this trip he was offered an opportunity to become a partner in a small winery project.  Although small it offered him the opportunity to get his hands dirty and learn the trade, the art and the magic of winemaking.

Patrick’s desire to learn more about winemaking and operating a winery as a profession led him to return to college, taking classes at Napa Valley College in the Enology and Viticulture programs. While a long time in the planning we fast forward to 2018 with the inaugural release of wine from Forthright Winery.  With the partnership, fellowship and hard work of four close friends we started our own winery.

Forthright Winery

A craft. A code. A fellowship.