Meet Ted Farthing, our Pacific Northwest Wine Director
Ted Farthing started his career as Brand Manager for Ruffino, Dom Pérignon and Moët & Chandon in 1992, and developed new spirits brands for Diageo. Before joining Lot18, he served as Executive Director of the Oregon Wine Board, leading the industry through rapid growth and cementing its reputation as a world-caliber growing region. Ted has joined Lot18 as Director for the Northwest, sourcing limited distribution wines from Washington and Oregon for our members.
Q: How would you describe your wine personality?
TF: I think about wines through the lens of food. I live for the next meal and love having interesting wines with every dinner.
Q: What are your favorite foods?
TF: I really enjoy the Pacific Northwest cuisine – it’s similar to simple Italian, where the ingredients are king. The preparation is simple and most dishes are seafood based. I enjoy wild mushroom risotto with an Oregon Pinot Noir and grilled, braised meats with the big red wines of Washington.
Q: What are your favorite wines to drink?
TF: Pinot Noir and Rieslings from Oregon and Merlots from Washington. For those that look down on Merlot – like I did before I moved to the Pacific Northwest – try one from Washington. It’s structurally sound with lots of acids and will go well with a wide range of cuisine.
Q: What’s the most epic wine you’ve ever tasted?
TF: 1971 Romanée Conti – the pedigree of the vineyard is incredible.
Q: What was it like being brand manager of Dom Perignon?
TF: It was an unforgettable experience. We hosted special guests at the Château de Saran in Champagne and a private dinner for guests at the Palace of Versailles – we took over the whole palace. But the best part was working with the talented winemaker Richard Geoffroy, in the cellars and at blending trials. That’s where I fell in love with Pinot Noir.
Q: What’s your favorite wine region/vineyard to travel to?
TF: Lately, it’s Walla Walla, WA. The wines have come of age, showing the maturity of the region, vineyards and winemakers. They are world caliber wines.
Q: Why did you get into wine?
TF: It’s the most exciting industry in the world, bar none. I left it for bottled water – marketing for Poland Springs in Greenwich, CT – but couldn’t wait to get back to wine.
Q: Why did you join Lot18?
TF: If wine is the most interesting industry, Lot18 is the most dynamic force within it that I’ve seen since I started in 1992, by far. I’m proud to be a part of it. Someone needed to change the way Americans shop for wine and Lot18 has figured it out.
Q: If you had one piece of advice for buying wine, what would it be?
TF: Find a trusted source, someone with tastes that align with yours. And try lots of different things because I hope nobody has tasted their favorite wine yet.
Q: Why the Pacific Northwest?
TF: The wines are so food friendly! I fell in love with the wines. The area is full of tiny little brands with no scores but gorgeous wines.