Tag Archives: Wine

Students discover more about wine during summer program


Photo courtesy of Linfield Center for the Northwest
The Oregon Wine Industry Experience interns sit down with many of the A to Z Wine Works staff to get a better understanding of various types of jobs the industry has to offer.

Students who participated in “The Linfield College Oregon Wine Industry Experience” found ways to further their interests and find new ones this summer.

The program was set up by Linfield Center for the Northwest to give Linfield students a taste of the wine industry. Seniors Shelby Duarte and Kelly Carmody both participated this summer and are still participating in the program.

This summer students visited vineyards and wineries around Oregon, learning everything about the wine-making process.

“We learned about all areas of the wine industry, such as wine-making, food and wine pairing, biodynamic farming, how to drive a forklift,” Duarte said. “We got a general overview of all the subjects and to hear a lot of different wine makers.”


Photo courtesy of Linfield Center for the Northwest
Interns senior Caren Siegel (left), junior Jessie McGraw (center) and senior Shelby Duarte test their skills to see which scents they could identify in the wine they sampled at A to Z Wine Works.

Both Duarte and Carmody did not really understand wine until they participated in the program.

“When I started the internship, I definitely wasn’t a big wine drinker, but I’ve tasted so much wine now,” Carmody said. “I’ve come a long way from thinking it tastes like bad grape juice. It definitely has all these flavors and undertones to it.”

“I didn’t [like wine] at first,” Duarte said. “But once I started in the program, I tasted good wine.”

For the harvest, Duarte and Carmody work with two different wineries. Carmody interns with Dominio IV, a winery on Fifth Street, and Duarte has a job working in Ponzio Wine Bar’s tasting room.

“I’m learning something new every day,” Duarte said. “My wine manager who has been in the wine industry for 35 years also says there’s always something to learn.”

The Oregon Wine Experience Program also finds a way to tie into a student’s interests.

According to Duarte, most of the participants are marketing majors and using the experience as an opportunity to get some real world experience. Spring Term 2014, the students are allowed to find an internship that interests them.

Carmody is an electronic arts major, which is a combination of mass communication, computer science and the fine arts. Her hope with the wine industry experience is to get a job advertising different wineries and vineyards.

“It would be amazing if I could get a job in the wine industry,” Carmody said. “That’s something I’m going to pursue. I definitely want to do something in videography and graphic design. I feel like there’s a lot of room in the wine industry for that.”

Carmody would like to possibly make videos or labels for wineries. She and her roommate senior Caren Siegel, who is also a participant in the program, created some wine labels this summer.

They received advice from Andrea La Rue of Nectar Graphics on how to improve them and plan to use them in the spring.

Duarte is a marketing major and hopes to acquire a marketing job at Ponzi Wine Bar.

“If there isn’t anything available through Ponzi, I will reach out to other wineries,” Duarte said. “I really like the wine industry here.”

In a marketing job, Duarte would be able to put a lot of what she has learned as marketing major to the test.

“I think they’d manage their social media, doing events, working with distributors, meeting with sales reps and teaching them about their product,” Duarte said about marketing jobs in the wine industry.

The participants will also go abroad as part of the program this Jan Term. They will visit Burgundy, France to compare Oregon wine and French wine.

Gilberto Galvez / Features editor

Gilberto Galvez can be reached at linfieldreviewfeatures@gmail.com.


Wine expert educates community on viticulture

Professor Gregory Jones of the Environmental Studies Department at Southern Oregon University will be giving a lecture on how climate change has Wine Lecture 2affected the growth of grapevines, and in turn, the production and quality of wine. The lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 in Ice Auditorium.

Jones has spent the last two decades studying wine and grape production.

He has done analysis on the climate and soil of many Oregon regions and has determined different varietals of grapes that can grow in such places. For instance, from his analysis of the oil and climate in the Bear Creek Valley, Jones determined that Merlot, Syrah and Viogneir grapes could be grown there due to a warmer climate in this region. These grape types have expanded the grape varietals that are typically grown in Oregon, which include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.

The climate is continually warming, which has allowed the wine industry to expand to Oregon. Such climate change can create future success in the Oregon Wine Industry.

“In the 50s and 60s it was almost impossible to grow wine grapes in Oregon,” Jones said. Jones has done a variety of projects pertaining to viticulture in other countries, he even received a fellowship to do work in Australia. He also studied port wine during a year long sabbatical in the Douro Valley located in Portugal. In 2009, Jones won Person of the Year from Oregon Wine Press Magazine and was named one of the top 50 Influential People in the wine world by Decanter Magazine.

Wine lectureCurrently, Jones is working on projects in Spain, China and Italy. He also teaches a few classes at Southern Oregon University, including meteorology and Scientology. Jones is also working on a book about regional grape growing in Oregon. Among all these duties, Jones still finds some free-time to enjoy going to the coast and mountain biking with his wife and two sons.

“We are sports oriented people,” Jones said.

Jones also enjoys drinking his wine as much as he enjoys studying its cultivation. Jones’ interest in wine was sparked during his first career as a chef.

“Wine is like food,” Jones said, who made it a priority to learn about wine and food pairing in the kitchen. “Wine was a big part of what I did in the kitchen.”

Jones also drinks wines to the season. He drinks red wines in the winter and lighter wines in the summer. But when asked what his favorite wine was Jones said, “I can say that I like good wine.”

Mariah Gonzales / Culture editor

Mariah Gonzales can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com

Greg Jones visited Portugal during his one year sabbatical, where he studied port wine.

Jones traveled to vineyard in Portugal’s Douro Valley, where he conducted some of his research on viticulture.

Mariah Gonzales

Photo courtesy of Greg Jones

Times reporter transitions from journalism to wine writing

It wasn’t supposed to be news. It wasn’t supposed to be anything shocking. Everyone else wrote it off so there was no point in writing an article about the 1976 Paris wine tasting competition.
The French knew all there was to know about wine, and California wines didn’t stand a chance. That is what everyone thought. But they were all wrong.
The event was covered by three newspapers, among them and first to publish was George Taber, a reporter for Times Magazine.
Taber spoke about the tasting and his experience as a journalist and writer Feb. 26 in the full T.J. Day Hall.
“Everyone turned down the story, initially. I even turned it down the first time I was invited,” Taber said. “No one wanted to take it because it was what we call in journalism a non-story. Nobody is ever going publish a story about a dog biting a man. It’s only a story when the man bites the dog. And this was clearly going to be a dog bites man story.”
Taber was convinced to attend the event by Steven Spurrier, an English wine shop owner and the event organizer. Thanks to the persuasion, Taber found a “man bites dog” story.
Taber’s four paragraph article written on the event revealed the shocking results of the California wines victory over the French wines in a blind tasting. The story were “the most important words written about wine,” as someone once told Taber.
He wrote a book 30 years after the event about his own experience while at the tasting titled “Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine.”
Since the event, Taber has stepped away from journalism and turned to writing about wine.
Taber’s writing on the world of wine started in 2007 with his book “To Cork or Not to Cork: Tradition, Romance, Science, and the Battle for the Wine Bottle.” The book has earned the Jane Grigson Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and it was a finalist for best wine book of the year by both the André Simon Award and the James Beard Award.
His third book was released in 2009 and was titled “In Search of Bacchus: Wanderings in the Wonderful World of Wine Tourism.” The book outlined his journey around the world in search of the best wines. Taber traveled to 12 of the world’s best wine regions in six months.
Taber’s most recent work is about the differences between the more expensive wines and what he calls “bargain wines.” He defined bargain wines as those that cost less than $10, and even suggest more than 400 wines to try in his book, “A Toast to Bargain Wines.”
Kaylyn Peterson
Copy chief
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewcopy@gmail.com.

Oregon’s wine industry connects with Linfield students

Linfield College is involved in a project dedicated to preserving Oregon’s wine history. The Oregon Wine History Project (OWHP) is an online storehouse of photographs and information located in Nicholson Library, whereas the Oregon Wine History Archive is the physical repository.

“Through the Linfield Center for the Northwest, we have been looking for ways in which we could connect Linfield College to the Oregon Wine Community in a way that made sense for a liberal arts college,” Jeff Peterson, the associate professor of the department of sociology and anthropology said in an email.

Because McMinnville is located in the center of Oregon wine country and is home to the International Pinot Noir Celebration, there are many people who think it is important to document the development of Oregon’s wine industry. The Linfield Center for the Northwest wants to work together with members of the Oregon wine industry in order to accomplish this, because they are the ones who have physical documentation about Oregon’s early wine making years.

Peterson said he is excited to have students working with valuable members of Oregon’s wine industry.

“It is a great opportunity for our students to get to know and work with these people,” he said.

Peterson said Susan Sokol-Blosser, who owns the Sokol-Blosser Winery, first came to President Hellie and Peterson with the idea of the physical archive.

“She had a background as an archival historian and really wanted these materials preserved,” Peterson said.

The Linfield Center for the Northwest was able to find sufficient funds to remodel the archive space in Nicholson Library in order to expand the storage space with compact shelving. This project will also be of interest to some Linfield students by providing an opportunity for students to work on research projects related to Oregon’s wine industry.

“They say all politics is local and I figure history should be local. So I figure the best place for these materials is Linfield,” said Dick Erath of Erath Winery.

With a grant from an alumna, the Linfield Center for the Northwest is currently looking for a part-time archivist and a part-time museums person.

The archivist will “help organize and work on the archives, also to get materials up digitally,” Peterson said. “The museums person will work with students on yearly projects and have it be an educational component to the archives.”

While the Linfield Center for the Northwest received a grant, they are still looking for more funding in order to fill these positions.

Meghan O’Rourk/Opinion editor
Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com. 

Readings offer look into Oregon winemaking

Susan Sokol Blosser points out how her political opponent’s low-blow tactics are actually helping to sell her book “At Home in the Vineyard,” which she read excerpts from in a winemaking talk with fellow writer Brian Doyle on Oct. 21 in Nicholson Library. Megan Myer/Online editor

Two authors provided a behind-the-scenes look at local winemaking as part of the “Readings at the Nick” series Oct. 21 in Nicholson Library.
Winemaker Susan Sokol Blosser read from her memoir “At Home in the Vineyard” and was followed by readings by author Brian Doyle.
Sokol Blosser, co-founder of Sokol Blosser Winery, is widely hailed as a pioneer of the wine industry in Yamhill County. “At Home in the Vineyard” explores Sokol Blosser’s personal and business accomplishments in the industry.
“My story should give hope to all budding entrepreneurs,” Sokol Blosser said. The odds seemed stacked against her in 1971, when she planted Sokol Blosser Winery’s first vines with no business or agriculture training and in an area with no wine industry.
“The fact that we are still here in business, that the second generation is now running the show, that we are distributed internationally … [it] shows you that miracles can happen,” Sokol Blosser, a Stanford University graduate, said. “And it proves that you can do anything with a liberal arts education.”
When prompted by an audience member, she explained that protesting activities at Sokol Blosser Winery went so far as trespassing in a move she called “below the belt.” People protested because they accused her of hiring illegal immigrants, which Sokol Blosser admits may have happened without her knowledge.
Sokol Blosser is also running as a candidate in the Oregon House of Representatives District 24 race.
Sokol Blosser joked that she was “happy to be at a literary event and not a campaigning event.” Sokol Blosser is also a familiar face to the campus as a subject featured in the “Bringing Vines to the Valley” exhibit currently displayed in the library.
“[This reading] goes hand-in-hand with the exhibit,” said Library Director Susan Barnes Whyte.
Sokol Blosser’s readings touched on topics such as sustainability in agriculture, the role of the International Pinot Noir Celebration in growing the Oregon wine industry, the birth of her winery and how she “came to love the vineyard.”
“[Working in the vineyard] gave me a sense of oneness with the land and a fulfillment I never imagined,” Sokol Blosser said.
On sustainability, Sokol Blosser said she gained “a sense of the interconnectedness of everything” and integrated into her business an emphasis on what she calls a triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.
Following Sokol Blosser, Doyle, author of nine books and editor of Portland Magazine at University of Portland, read various pieces of his work, including passages from his book “The Grail.”
“The Grail” follows his story of a year spent at Lange Winery in Dundee, Ore., where he pinned down the nuances of creating the perfect pinot noir.
Doyle also read from his new novel “Mink River,” which was published this month.
Doyle’s readings ranged from comedic, such as in his “rules for the bathroom” as told to his young sons, to touching, eliciting tears from speaker and audience members alike, as in his account of the bittersweet moment of a parent cutting the apron strings and sending his child off to college.
“It seems like I’m not a writer any more; I’m a listener,” Doyle said. “I wander around listening to stories.”
The result of his listening is an eclectic assortment of literary odds and ends, expressed in his reading, which include teaching the audience to curse in Gaelic, recounting his experience of getting glasses and seeing the world clearly for the first time and the story of a former homicide detective who became a father of triplets.

Gabi Nygaard/Staff reporter
Gabi Nygaard can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.