The allure of winemaking has attracted a menagerie of professionals to the business. Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Program has lured aerospace engineers, Army medics, apparel designers, scientists, and many others to the field. Here, we bring you a few of the stories of those who have changed careers by hanging a left at wine.
After years of dissecting rat brains, Berenice Burdet had had enough.
The Argentinian neuroscientist was untangling stress’s web of physiological effects on the hippocampus. The stress we feel in a crammed subway train, Burdet says, affects our behavior by dampening affect. We become depressed, and activity levels decline. … » More …
It’s easy to find the Cougar wine along the row of stainless steel tanks at Bergevin Lane Winery in Walla Walla. The WSU logo gives it away. But what’s inside really distinguishes Cougar III wine.
“The idea that what’s in the bottle comes first is the predominant feeling around here,” says winemaker Dave Harvey ’88. “But what’s most unique about this vintage of the Coug wines is that everybody is Coug: vineyard owners, winery owner, winemaker.”
Winery owner and manager Annette Bergevin ’86 laughs at the synchronicity as she, Harvey, and winery dog Paco walk past the tanks.
A promising pairing of alumni and wine lands this October when the WSU Alumni Association unveils its limited edition Cougar I (pronounced Cougar One) wine.
Joining up with Gordon Estates Winery, the Alumni Association is offering bottles of a rich red blend to members of the Wine-By-Cougars club, those who attend a special release event in the Tri-Cities, and the lucky few who can find it at their grocery stores and wine shops.
Only about 300 cases are available, and the WSUAA expects the wine will go fast.
Gordon Estates is a Washington-rooted, Cougar-run operation. Founder/owners Jeff ’71 and Vicki Gordon, and their daughter Katie … » More …
While sweet Riesling and Merlot were once the foundation of Washington’s wine, you can tell, just by cruising the wood racks of The Wine Alley shop in Renton, that this is a whole new scene.
Our state’s offerings were already intriguing when Allison Helfen ’89 and her husband Scott started the shop nine years ago. “When we first opened, the hot thing was viognier. And Syrahs were everywhere,” says Allison Helfen. Today the shelves are even more diverse. “They have to be. People get bored,” she says. That’s why her stock has shifted to include inky Malbecs, sprightly Sangioveses, and rich Barberas.
About three years ago, Monte Regier returned to Seattle from a year working on the hospital ship Anastasis off the coast of Liberia. Suffering from culture shock, remembering friends who go to bed hungry every night, he sat with his friend Martin Barrett over a glass of wine and mused on what a dollar would buy.
And then came the Idea.
“You know, Monte,” said Barrett, “I think this glass of wine could feed a kid for a day.”
One can imagine Regier’s skeptical smile.
“Give me 90 days,” said Barrett.
So Barrett started researching this idea of selling wine to feed kids and convinced … » More …