Dear Friends of Sleight of Hand Cellars,
This is a personal letter from Trey.
“This past week, the Washington Wine Industry lost one of its greatest friends with the death of Eric Dunham. Eric was my mentor in the wine business, hiring me in June of 2000 to be his assistant winemaker at Dunham Cellars, even though I didn’t know the first thing about making wine, or the wine business in general. But Eric saw something in me that I did not see in myself, and for that I will always be forever grateful. Were it not for Eric, you would not be reading this email from me, because I would not be in the wine business. I have met so many of you through this amazing industry, all because of the opportunity Eric offered me all those years ago.
I feel so blessed to have known Eric as a friend, as well. He was larger than life, and the most generous person that I have ever met. Eric gave his time, and his wines, to so many charities over the years, giving back to those who need it most. He was notorious for picking up dinner tabs on his way out the door, not even saying goodbye to his dinner guests. He was a talented artist, aspiring chef, world class winemaker, and most of all, an amazing friend. He will be missed by many, including the entire team here at Sleight of Hand.
Eric leaves behind a beautiful baby boy, Hikari, as well as his wife, Kanae. A trust fund has been set up at Banner Bank in Walla Walla for both of them, if anyone is interested in helping them out, please call and make a donation. In honor of Eric, the annual holiday dinner that we co-host with Mark Ryan Winery and Sparkman Cellars at Aqua in Seattle (Dec 23rd this year) will include Dunham Cellars. We plan to have a small auction of some amazing wines, trips, etc to donate to the trust fund as well. Please call Aqua (206-956-9171) to sign up for this dinner, as it will surely sell out quickly this year.
Lastly, please raise of glass of your favorite bottle of Dunham over the next few weeks in honor of Eric. His memorial is this Saturday, Nov 1st at Dunham Cellars in Walla Walla from 1-4 if you feel like making the journey to share your stories about Eric. I know there are many!”
Pearl Jam – Off He Goes
know a man, his face seems pulled and tense
like he’s riding on a motorbike in the strongest winds
so i approach with tact
suggest that he should relax
but he’s always moving much too fast
said he’ll see me on the flipside
on this trip he’s taken for a ride
he’s been taking too much on
there he goes with his perfectly unkept clothes
there he goes…
he’s yet to come back
but i’ve seen his picture
it doesn’t look the same up on the rack
we go way back
i wonder about his insides
its like his thoughts are too big for his size
he’s been taken… where, i don’t know?
off he goes with his perfectly unkept hope
and there he goes…
and now i rub my eyes, for he has returned
seems my preconceptions are what should have been burned
for he still smiles…
and he’s still strong
nothing’s changed, but the surrounding bullshit that has grown
and now he’s home
and we’re laughing like we always did
my same old, same old friend
until a quarter-to-ten
i saw the strain creep in
he seems distracted and i know just what is gonna happen next
before his first step
he’s off again
Eric, we love you and miss you.
With much love from the team here at Sleight of Hand
Trey, Jerry, Sandy, Keith, and Lori