Brick House founder interviews Oregonian wine writer at Linfield College

Oregonian wine writer Katherine ColeJoin Brick House Vineyard owner Doug Tunnell as he turns the tables on Oregonian wine columnist Katherine Cole, interviewing her in front of a live audience Wednesday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. in 222 T.J. Day Hall. The conversation will be a dynamic exploration of the Oregon wine industry. The event is free and the public is welcome.

Cole writes “Wine Notes” for The Oregonian and contributes to Portland’s MIX Magazine. Her work has also appeared in numerous national magazines, including Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits and Gourmet.

Cole’s book, Voodoo Vintners: Oregon’s Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers, was published in 2011 and has been celebrated for its lively charm and wry humor by The New York Times, Wine Spectator, Huffington Post and Chicago Sun-Times. The book was also nominated for a Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Award.

In her book, Cole combines a keen interest in wine, sustainable agriculture and the local food movement to examine the motivations behind Oregon’s unique “voodoo vintners,” winegrowers who embrace a spiritual style of farming that goes far beyond merely organic. They plant according to the position of the moon and stars and use raw materials on their property to nourish their grape crops, in a belief that biodynamic winegrowing results in the truest form of terroir and the purest pinot noir.

“Some of these maxims might sound unusual to us, but the fact is that humans have been raising crops this way since the dawn of civilization,” Cole says.

Cole also produced the definitive app for Oregon wine lovers. “Oregon Wine, the App” helps wine lovers explore wineries throughout the state by geographic region, or helps them plan ultimate wine tours that range from the “Eco-Geeky” to the “Cult.” It offers “Wine Geek Notes” for hardcore aficionados and suggestions for wine splurges. Best of all, the app offers the colorful stories that make each winery unique, capturing personalities, vineyard histories and the often funky nature of Oregon wine country.

Cole’s second book, Complete Wine Selector: How to Choose the Right Wine Every Time, will be published internationally this summer.

She holds degrees from Harvard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has studied with the International Sommelier Guild, and has taught journalism courses at Portland State University.

Former journalist Doug Tunnell, who will conduct the interview, founded Brick House Vineyards and Wine Company, one of Oregon’s first certified organic vineyards and wineries.

From 1975 to 1992 Tunnell served as a correspondent for CBS News, covering the world from Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. He won or shared Emmy Awards for his coverage of the aborted U.S. mission to rescue the hostages in Iran in 1980, the Middle East Peace Initiative in 1978 to 1982, and the 1988 destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 by a terrorist bomb. He also covered the first Gulf War and the Islamic revolution in Iran, among other events.

Tunnell developed an interest in wine while reporting from Germany and France, and eventually returned to his native Oregon, bought a 40-acre farm near Newberg, and founded his wine company. In 2005, Brick House became one of the few Oregon wineries to achieve biodynamic certification.

Tunnell received a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University and an honorary doctoral degree from Linfield College in 2005.

Tunnell serves on the Linfield Board of Trustees and the Oregon Wine Board. He formerly chaired the board of directors for Oregon Public Broadcasting and served as vice president of the Demeter Biodynamic Trade Association.

Linfield College, in McMinnville, is located near the birthplace of the earliest vineyards in Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley, and hosts thousands of wine aficionados on its park-like campus at the annual International Pinot Noir Celebration. In 2011, the school established the Oregon Wine History Archive, which chronicles the Oregon wine industry and includes historical documents from early wine pioneers.

For more information about the event, contact John McKeegan at (503) 883-2202 or

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