At Vinexpo 2012 in Hong Kong, I spoke briefly with Catherine Douglas, Manager of Export Sales for Adelsheim Vineyard, located Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The winery was established in 1971 by David Adelsheim and his wife, Ginny Adelsheim, after the couple’s summer trip to Europe, where they were inspired by the artisanal foods and wines they tried. Since then, Adelsheim has continued to be a family-owned and operated winery, which relies on sustainable farming, combining traditional and modern techniques to craft elegant, complex wine with a great richness in flavor and texture.
Catherine and I spoke of her thoughts on Vinexpo 2012 and of the feedback that the wines had gotten at the exhibition. Catherine also shared with me her favorite of the Adelsheim wines, the Elizabeth’s Reserve, named after the daughter of the winery founders.
Our interview follows:
My name is Catherine Douglas, I’m from Adelsheim Vineyard from Oregon and I’m the Manager of Export Sales.
And how do you feel about Vinexpo 2012?
It’s great. This afternoon has been very busy. We were expecting to see a lot of people from Hong Kong and Mainland China, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many other countries are represented here.
Yes, we’ve talked to people from South Korea and Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand…
You mean among visitors or exhibitors?
Oh, the visitors.
The wines that you’ve brought, how do you feel they will compete on the Hong Kong market? Are you thinking about expanding to the Asian markets?
Well, yes. Presently we’re only in Japan. Two months ago I spent some time in South Korea and so now we’re here in Hong Kong seeking distribution, and possibly into Mainland China. We’re sort of exploring our options.
And so far what kind of feedback have you gotten?
Great feedback, especially on the Pinot Noirs. A lot of what we have been doing today has been education about Oregon. About where it is, and what the climate is like and the varieties that we’re known for producing. So it’s a lot of education.
So what have you brought today to exhibit?
Well we’ve brought six wines. We’ve brought a Pinot Gris, a Chardonnay and four different Pinot Noirs. So, we produce many different wines, but in very small, limited quantities.
And what is your personal favorite?
My personal favorite is probably this one. This is the Elizabeth’s Reserve. It’s named after the founder’s, David Adelsheim’s daughter and Ginny Adelsheim’s.
And is that on the label too?
That’s who that is, yes. She’s now 30 or 31 and lives in Seattle, so… But it’s a barrel selection, made up of 9 different vineyards, most of which are in our sub-AVA of the Willamette Valley, called the Chehalem Mountains. It’s a fairly limited production wine. We do 3,306 bottle cases, so out of 40,000 cases it’s a relatively small amount of wine, but it really speaks to the art of blending: different sites, different clones, different elevations, soil types. It’s a beautiful layered, elegant wine.
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