Earnest curiosity is what defines the wines, people, and pug behind Pray Tell. After years of lightning bolt wines, learning alongside amazing mentors, and participating in the truly unique and collaborative community of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, we sought out an opportunity to add our own voices to the growing landscape of wine. Our values are founded on sustainable, mindful farming, reactive winemaking, and an unflinching pursuit to continue learning and enjoying each bottle we make.
When Tom Caruso was a kid, he helped his grandfather make wine on a city sidewalk in Philadelphia — ironically on the corner of Oregon Avenue. They would source grapes from local farms and use a small hand crank destemmer and basket press (which he still has to this day).In adulthood, try as he might to find another career path, the inevitable reality sunk in when a few years into a job as a book editor in New York City, he decided to drop everything and focus on wine. Tom enrolled in a wine school where he met Jess Arnold.At the time, Jess already had a growing list of wine experience in San Francisco and the Napa Valley, and was working with the beverage program of a restaurant in NYC. After passing their sommelier exams, they realized their focus had shifted to actually making the stuff, so they packed up their things and headed west. From New York to Sonoma to the Willamette Valley, Tom and Jess have both spent years working with some amazing winemakers, farmers, and mentors. One home, puppy, wedding, and lots of harvests later, they started Pray Tell — a little corner of the region they love most where they manage to nurture their earnest curiosity of fermented grape juice and feed their pug.