Kyle MacLachlan loves a good cup of joe. After all, this is the same actor who, as Agent Dale Cooper, declared his undying love for the bean on the seminal television show, Twin Peaks, with a hearty “damn good coffee.”
So it was sort of surreal to hear him remark how much he loved the espresso drink he was sipping on at Lovejoy Bakers. “This is a really good cappuccino,” said MacLachlan as he nibbled on one of Lovejoy’s sticky buns. But MacLachlan wasn’t at the hot Pearl District bakery to talk about Portland’s steamy bean scene — he's is also a wine guy. In fact, MacLachlan loves the vine so much he’s become a winemaker.
The star of such classic films as Blue Velvet, Dune, and Showgirls and one of the stars of television juggernauts Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives, and the aforementioned Twin Peaks, Kyle is currently in Portland shooting a pilot with Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein tentatively called "Portlandia" for The Independent Film Channel. Kyle says it's sort of like Flight of The Conchords.
It’s not his first time to Portland. A native of Yakima, Wash. MacLachlan, 51, made several childhood trips to the region to visit his grandparents in Vancouver, Wash. (His grandfather was, among many occupations, a crafty denture-maker).
“I was a small town kid,” he said. “I remember coming to Portland and thinking it was such a big city.” Although he currently lives in a much bigger city (New York) with his wife, Desiree, and his son Callum — he’ll take the red-eye on Saturday night to be home in time for Father’s Day — MacLachlan is still very connected to the region. In fact so much so, that after a trip in the Napa region, he and his wife decided they wanted to take a stab at creating their own wine. That interest led MacLachlan to the wine region of Walla Walla, Washington, and more specifically Eric Dunham, the vintner behind the world-renowned Dunham Cellars Winery. Due to the fact that the French oak barrels he wanted to use to make his wine cost about $1,000 a pop, MacLachlan pulled the number “12” out of the air to decide just how much wine— a blend of Cabernet from [Washington's] Lewis Vineyard, with some Syrah, a touch of Merlot—he would make for his first vintage back in 2005.
“I was new to all this,” said Kyle. “I didn’t want to go crazy.” For his ’07 vintage Kyle has upped his barrel count to 18; that will translate into 400 cases. Not a lot, but enough for MacLachlan.
And, oh yeah, the name of the wine is Pursued by Bear. According to MacLachlan it comes from a stage direction in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. According to Kyle, the name popped at a dinner party at comedian Steve Martin’s house. “Steve makes his own wine, too,” says Kyle. “It’s called ‘Steve’s Wine’ and he gives them out during the holidays. I think I have a bottle of it somewhere in my cellar, but I have yet to open it up.”
Currently you can sign up to receive more information about MacLachlan’s “Pursued By Bear.” It’s also available at Wally’s Wine and Spirits in Los Angeles and about 10 restaurants in the Los Angeles area. Ironically, it’s not available in New York City. In between his six-day Portland shoot, MacLachlan has been meeting with some local restaurants to see if they would like to serve his wine.
He can be seen on screen this summer alongside his former Twin Peaks co-star Joan Chen in Mao’s Last Dancer, and he plans to continue developing his wine expertise.
“I really enjoy the level of control you have in wine making; it’s very participatory,” says MacLachlan. “ Wine making is like directing, but first and foremost I am an actor. I have no desire to become a director, but I really enjoy making wine.”
· Pursued by Bear [Official Site]