Happy New Year! We have some introductions to make!
Fall 2016 saw the departure of Direct Sales Manager, John Bellncula who left to pursue his career in wine in a climate conducive to his passion for skiing in Colorado.
While the DTC Team buckled down for a busy holiday season, we searched for the right person to lead them as Direct Sales Manager. We were pleased to find Katherine Stalmann, a seasoned Oregon wine industry veteran with over 10+ years’ experience combined at Adelsheim and Bergstrom wineries. We are excited to welcome Katherine to the team!
On the Distribution side, we’re excited to announce the promotion of Todd Stewart, Sales Manager (USA) to Director of National Sales. Todd has been an advocate of ECV wines for over a decade, first on the Distributor side and then as one of our ECV Sales Managers covering over 20 markets for Elk Cove. Many of you know Todd and his tireless efforts to build the Elk Cove brand around the country. He’ll also support Elk Cove’s other Distribution Sales Managers. Please join us in congratulating Todd!
Claire Cunningham has moved to Port Townsend, Washington to be with her fiancée. We’re excited for Claire and the happy life changes she is making. Her markets have shifted to our other Managers and they’ll be reaching out to you shortly. I’m happy to announce that we have created a new role for her as our Corporate Sales Manager. We hope with this focus Claire can find more opportunities for both Elk Cove and Pike Road around the nation.
This shift obviously left a hole so we searched for another valuable Distribution Sales Manager. Please join us in welcoming Cam Christie to the Elk Cove family! Cameron Christie is a recent Portland transplant and hails from the frigid, wind-swept Canadian prairies (you can’t make him go back). He spent a decade working in wine starting in the Caribbean, then working harvest in Burgundy and then on to London where he managed retail operations for Uncorked Wine Merchants, one of the most acclaimed independent wine merchants in the UK. After a few years in London, he moved to San Francisco to work in sales for Bacio Divino Cellars (Napa), first taking over the CA market, and then expanding into business development across the US and internationally. Most recently, Cam managed a team of eight specialists across Northern California for Moet-Hennessy’s Champagne Portfolio. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, cycling, hiking, camping, film and literary fiction.
One final addition: we have a newly created position for the entire Sales Team, a Sales Coordinator who will be the ‘glue’ that holds all these moving pieces together. Please join us in welcoming Margaret Popenoe to this position. Previously, she was a Tasting Room Associate at our Pike Road Tasting Room. Margaret has an extensive background in the service/hospitality industry with over 16 years’ experience as a server, caterer, barista, yacht stewardess and tasting room manager.
We’re excited to have some new talented people join our team and we hope you all embrace them as well! Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
The Willamette Valley was named Region of the Year by the 2016 Wine Star awards:
“The vintners who first explored the valley’s potential were pioneers. There was no history to build upon, no grapes to purchase to produce wines while they waited for new vineyards to bear fruit. Only one of the first dozen or so vintners had any agricultural experience.” -Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast Magazine
That person with the agricultural experience would be Pat Campbell, who grew up on a pear orchard and founded Elk Cove Vineyards with husband Joe Campbell in 1974. It’s incredible to think that 40+ year’s later, this region would beat out contenders in classic wine regions around the globe for this prestigious award. Congratulations to everyone whose hard work has made the Willamette Valley AVA what it is today. Cheers!
Check out all the Wine Star award winners at winemag.com
In their largest blind tasting ever, Portland’s had 12 local wine experts evaluate more than 1,200 bottles to discover the state’s best wines. You can peruse the complete results here. Our 2014 Mount Richmond Pinot Noir made the list, coming in at #42:
“Plum and nectarine. Black cherry. Big and robust. Pair with: grass-fed-beef burgers” – Portland Monthly, October 2016
Portland Monthly Magazine is a great source for what to eat, drink and do in the greater Portland Area and is found at the checkout stands and by subscription. This review will post in the October 2016 issue of the magazine.
Curious about the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and the winemakers who make this beautiful place their home?
Here’s a video from a few years back that tells the story. Jump to 1:45 if you’d like to see Elk Cove Winemaker Adam Campbell speaking on how strong community is one of the things that makes our region so special. This theme runs throughout the video for good reason. It’s the people that make this place what it is. And the gorgeous vineyards, lots of those are featured here as well!
Fifty top Oregon wineries join together to host Pinot Camp, the ultimate opportunity for members of the wine trade to meet the faces behind the labels while exploring the Willamette Valley’s stunning wine country. In 2016 Elk Cove hosted viticulture workshops and a panel of Oregon winegrowers, including our own winemaker/owner Adam Campbell and vineyard manager Travis Watson.
The first ever Willamette: The Pinot Noir Barrel Auction was a huge success, bringing in $476,000 to support the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. The funds will be used to promote our Willamette Valley wineries, including Elk Cove! Read more about the auction here.
This trade only event started on Friday with sub-AVA specific events. Elk Cove co-hosted an event with our neighbors at Big Table Farm, a great winery to add to your itinerary when you visit Elk Cove (they’re by reservation only so call ahead).
We are thrilled that our long-time friends at Zupan’s “paddled up” and won our 10-case lot of 2014 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir! Here’s a description of this special wine made with Shea fruit:
A ten case lot of Elk Cove single vineyard Pinot noir made from Shea Vineyard fruit.
We have a longstanding relationship with Dick Shea and have been making wine from
this five-acre block of Dijon 777 on the east side of the Shea property for ten years.
We produce a small amount of Shea Pinot noir each year for our wine club with
limited availability in our tasting room, so this is a unique opportunity.
Shea Vineyard is renowned for big, concentrated dark fruit character.
Elk Cove’s take on Shea tends to be less aggressive with ripe but refined tannins
for a more up-front red-fruit profile.
Elk Cove’s delicate Pinot noir fruit undergoes gentle handling through our gravity
flow system. This allows us to achieve the elegance, texture, and luscious quality that
are the hallmarks of exquisite Pinot noir. This Shea lot was fermented in two small,
temperature controlled steel tanks, one entirely destemmed and the other 90% whole-cluster.
Hand punched down twice daily then aged in barrel for 10 months in 35% new French Oak.
Brilliant red with refined jasmine tea and triple berry aromatics. Delicately concentrated and
juicy on the palate with loads of red cherry fruit leading to a lengthy finish of refined tannins.
“That Oregon, with its wet weather and short summers, could ever be famous for wine was in doubt until as recently as 30 years ago, when it began to receive international acclaim. Today the Willamette Valley is the epicenter of a world-class wine region famous for some of the country’s best Pinot Noir.
Elk Cove is one of Oregon’s pioneering wineries, established by the Campbell family back in the 1970s in the foothills of the Coastal Range (which also provides the mountain views out the windows). The wine has reached new heights under second generation Adam Campbell…”
We are proud to have made this list, there are so many great places to visit here in the Willamette Valley. Check out the whole list at foodandwine.com
Elk Cove’s founders, Pat and Joe Campbell were honored as “Legacy Winemakers” at the 2015 ¡Salud! Auction. An influential Oregon winemaker or pioneer has been the recipient of this award each year since 2007.
Thank you to everyone who participated and supported this year’s ¡Salud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction. Together we raised a record breaking $800,000 to support Oregon’s seasonal vineyard workers and their families. This year we donated an Elk Cove VIP Experience package that included a bubbly tasting at the peak of our Mount Richmond Vineyard and a private dinner for eight people at Elk Cove Vineyards prepared and hosted by Pat and Joe Campbell.
¡Salud! is a unique collaboration between Oregon winemakers and healthcare professionals that has provided access to healthcare services for Oregon’s seasonal vineyard workers and their families for over 24 years. Learn more about it at salud.org. There’s also a great interview with Tuality Healthcare Foundation manager Maria McCandless in MyWineTribe that is worth a read.
Harvest 2015 was the earliest on record for the Northern Willamette Valley and we were a little stunned when our first fruit hit the crushpad on September 8th. Autumn brought relief from the heat with mild evenings and cool rainless nights that allowed for slow, even ripening. We harvested fruit that was absolutely pristine and perfectly ripe, at a gradual pace that allowed us to give our full attention to each block.
We’d never survive the busy harvest season without our great harvest crew. Members of the 2015 crush team hailed from around the globe including South Tyrol (Italy), China, New Zealand as well as closer by Mexico and the Willamette Valley.
The wildlife that calls the forests around our vineyards home is part of why we consider ourselves stewards of the land. Because our vineyards are on steep slopes, the surrounding gullies and canyons are even steeper. To prevent erosion and protect wildlife, we keep these areas forested and wild. In fact of a total of 185 acres at our Estate Vineyard, only 55 are planted with winegrapes and we’ve set aside over 100 acres as wild space.
Our proximity to the wilds of the Oregon Coast Range means we get a great variety of wildlife. Some are just passing through and others make this their home. This year staff have spotted:
Every year Elk Cove welcomes 4-6 Harvest Interns, mostly students of winemaking. Some come from Europe or the Southern Hemisphere to experience an Oregon vintage, others come from just down the road. An essential part of our winemaking team, our interns work long hours during the surge in activity that Harvest brings. We’d like to share a little bit of their stories here:
An interview with 2015 Harvest Intern, Martin:
Where are you from?
Montan, a small town in South Tyrol, Italy
How did you get here?
At our winery Pinot Noir is also the most important variety. I’d heard a lot about Oregon Pinot Noir, found them interesting.