Thursday, April 30, 2015

Another Week

My goal to complete my presentation last week turned out to be much more challenging than I anticipated. I did, however, finish the overview of my presentation, determined which parts to omit, and selected a background for all of my slides.

The final presentation is coming together and I cannot wait to have this huge task completed. With graduation and finals approaching, these last few weeks have been the busiest of my time at Linfield. I am hoping to receive our presentation days soon as my schedule fills with interviews and final assignments.

For the next week I am setting a much more attainable goal: complete half of my slides for the presentation. I know that finishing the whole thing will take some time, but getting it done sooner will allow for more presentation practice.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Just a little Thank You

With graduation on the (very close) horizon, I've been thinking a lot about what the Oregon Wine Industry Experience has done for me, and I really want to thank everyone who has been a part of and who has contributed their time and help to this program. When I started at Linfield, I was convinced I was going to study business or communication arts because I really wanted to own a restaurant or become a chef one day. But, over the next two years, I would completely change my course of study. I would discover that I definitely did not want to own a restaurant, and I would also realize that my passion is eating the food, not necessarily making it.

I visited Michael Hampton in the Career Development office last year after I had decided to become a food critic. I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to accomplish it; I just knew that I loved food and writing. When I arrived, Michael gave me some really good advice on how to pursue my "dream job." He also stealthily pushed the brochure for the Oregon Wine Industry Experience across the table towards me. I suspiciously eyed the paper in my hands, wondering whether or not I was actually interested in the Oregon Wine Industry. What is the wine industry? As a 20 year-old, I had no idea what it was. I didn't even know it existed...

I know. These facts are even hard for myself to hear, much less admit to the world.

After a brief read through the brochure, I noticed that there was a food and wine pairing section in the program. I was hooked. I didn't even have to deliberate; I knew I wanted to study wine! (With food of course). The summer portion turned into fall harvest with lots of earwigs and fruit sort, and the fall turned into a trip to Burgundy. Papa Winecat (Jeff) and Whitney introduced us to renowned winemakers, toured with us through the Burgundy vines, put up with our bantering, and we also ate exquisite meals. Oh my gosh, the food was so good. This trip was not only about meeting amazing people and eating delicious food, though. I also realized something important: I had grown a deep passion for wine.

Now, I sit at my desk thinking about all that I have learned this year, and I can't help but think about how much more there still is to learn. I love the culture, I love this place, I love the people, and I love wine. (And food still, of course).

So, thank you. Thank you to everyone who made this journey possible. I would not have fallen in love with the Oregon Wine Industry without any of you, and I am forever grateful.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Presentation Preparation

The past week has been chaotic in terms of this internship.

I went through quite the struggle to obtain a new copy of our internship text in order to receive a code. Ultimately, two books and a headache later, I was able to take the strengths text that accompanied our text. As we discussed grades in our group meeting I found that the weekly blog post never came up. I am not sure if it is still required, but I suppose I will fill everyone in on my progress anyways.

 With most of my tests out of the way this week and little homework over the weekend, my goal is to complete my PowerPoint slides by Sunday night. I have already created an IPS, Morningstar X-Ray, and explanation paper as examples of student work. All that is left is putting my course onto a presentation. I will also provide handouts, but the number in attendance at our presentations is still unknown.

I have a general idea of how I am going to structure my presentation, making sure to pull information I have gained over the past year. Although I have found the wine industry to be very intriguing and complex, it is not the highly competitive business world I imagined. Erin brought this fact up in the meeting, and I think she perfectly verbalized how I have been feeling about the industry. The close knit community and ability to share information and ideas is crucial for the growing industry, but as a finance major I have not found it aligns with my passion of growing to be a dominating business with well executed financial strategies. Hopefully the course I have created will be able to pull from wine and finance to create an interesting presentation.

 Here is my own to do list as our internship comes to a close:
 1. Create Presentation
          a. Include syllabus, calendar, and example assignment
2. Supervisor Evaluation (from Jeff?)
3. Self-Evaluation
4. Final two portions of the essay
5. Presentation
6. Earn an A in this course

Again, I leave you with a quote that sums up the past week:
"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Summer is around the corner

After our group meeting yesterday and writing my second reflection paper I realized that I am right on track of where I need to be with my project and research.

Looking back at the information I have collect it is quite extensive. I have learned why Mark does all his own analysis at Duck Pond and what the ETS satellite lab here in McMinnville offers to its clients. I am meeting with Robert Brittan today to learn about how he conducts his wine analysis for his lab. I also received responses to the questions I asked Corey from Core Enology. I understand why he runs his own consulting lab and is a great resource to the local wineries too.

Since summer is a mere five weeks away it is time to start compiling what I have learned this semester (and previous ones) and putting it into application. In the coming weeks I will begin to develop the curriculum needed for a crash course in lab skills and wine lab tests.

Stay tuned for more!

New Perspectives

New Perspectives
            It was a bit of a bizarre experience. Ever since I started in the wine industry and working in tasting rooms, I always enjoyed talking to people about wine—learning about what is out there to drink, where they had been earlier in the day or where they were going, other tasting and drinking experiences they had, and the joy of reminiscing to be had in those experiences. But it was on this day I found myself simply not really caring about what the customers across the tasting bar had to say to me. It struck me like a reflex hammer on the crown of my skull: I really didn’t want to be in hospitality anymore.
            I am not sure what it was that brought this epiphany about—could have been the tasting room I was in, another cloudy winter day in western Oregon, or the fact that everyone that I had served or seen in other tasting rooms in the Valley and came to not liking them were, in fact, all in that very same room as me. And I was alone in this moment—I silently endured the torture of listening to them drunkenly discuss about how they had this “exquisite” bottle or that “library wine” from “X, Y, and Z wineries” and then asking me if I knew anything or even tasted these bottles that I could care less about. It was like an arthritic attack on my face and hands: it was painful to nod and smile, and to then pour a wine that they could care less about beyond their own inebriation.
            I had had it. I didn’t want to be nice anymore.
            Drama aside, I knew at that point that hospitality was not a long-term situation for me. In my own development in the industry, I found wine to be intellectually engaging and invigorating—indeed, without the industry, I may not have even gone back to pursuing my own education. There is an excitement in tasting a wine and seeing what it has to say, to get to know it and by extension, any of the people who came in contact with it before the wine reached your lips. Then to lay that wine down for over the years and see how its personality develops and unfold can be something of a romance. Wine is an art form that approaches music in its enigma, frescoes in its composition, and friendships in its dynamism.
            Wine is truly better with friends.
            If there was a singular thing that has kept me in the industry it would be the people that I have met. Many were not originally from the industry—quite a few from high-tech, financial, and medical. And they all had something interesting to say or something challenging to the status quo. Even to my own status quo. It was this kind of allure that I found captivating and certainly an excellent complement to the wines I drank and were getting to know. And I loved sharing these experiences with people who have grown to be colleagues and friends. Ideas, relationships, and wine were and currently are creating this experience that has bright possibilities. Not a tasting room with special seating or a sommelier that could be paid better in a restaurant than at a winery.
Or cranky tasting room associates who were to provide an “experience”.
From this point forward, my focus will be more on understanding key concepts regarding wine and winemaking, and to broaden my palate to familiarize myself with the wines of other regions. In that I hope to meet more people, make more friends and colleagues, and really just learn the stories of the wines that bring us all together. Whether this leads to a career in winemaking or wine admiration, of this I am uncertain. But I know I thrive in environments of real thought, intellectual challenge, and where possibilities of growth and to do better are indeed possibilities. Not another “night out on the town,” or rather, “after church at the wineries,” but a true desire to get know the wine and how to move our great industry forward.
And for the record, nobody died on that day.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tasting Time!

A year into this project and I still feel like I do not know much about my chosen subject of research. Chardonnay in this state is still in its infancy and any effort to quantify/qualify is met with elusion and more questions.

I have enjoyed meeting with winemakers and vineyard owners over the past year - the stories are fascinating and helpful. However, I am finding that they don't always provide actual data, or at least anything that provides an objective view of chardonnay. I recently met with Dave and Jeanne Beck who were kind enough to provide me with vineyard reports and trends in terms of wine scores, which will certainly help me along. But still, I question, do I really know what Oregon chardonnay is?

I will be reviewing my notes (typing them up for better organization) to see any more general trends and talk about matters that I can safely talk about (keep in mind that I am not a winemaker or vineyard manager of any kind - just a newbie). In the meantime, I am organizing a tasting with industry and restaurant professionals to discuss Oregon chardonnay and see if we can discern any innate qualities. Erica Landon of Walter Scott Wine has been incredibly helpful in getting this organized - I am excited to see what the results will be!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The season is picking up again!

Last weekend I mainly worked in the tasting room! The tasting room manager was away on vacation, so I got to practice utilizing all of the knowledge I have learned thus far to sell the wine. I am really enjoying being in the tasting room because I am beginning to learn who customers are and what they like (mainly because they keep coming back)! So it is really fun to facilitate conversations and see recurring customers.

I also recently paired a decadent Triple Cream Goat Brie with a 2005 Tempranillo. The explosion of flavor on my palate was absolutely divine. The light tannins in the Tempranillo attached to the proteins in the cheese, and this combination created a luscious and balanced taste of creamy (and slightly stinky) cheese and wine. Oh. My. Gosh.

My research project has been an on-going process. I find that everyone tastes wine differently (and everyone prefers different wines), so everyone definitely has his or her own opinion on what to pair with certain wines. BUT. That being said, one can refer to the basics of food and wine pairing to pinpoint what typical food might pair well with certain wines. As much as I would love to go into the details of these basics, I'm afraid I must save them for my presentation in May.

A bientôt,

How to be a Tasting Room Manager: Must Love Cleaning

The most important thing I have learned about being a tasting room manager so far: you must love cleaning.

Thankfully, I love to clean! And appearance makes a big difference in a tasting room and a customer's experience. Walking into a business that has crumbs on the floor, water rings on the tables and lots of dishes piling up on the bar is so off-putting. You wouldn't want to eat or drink there! In my regular job as a tasting room associate, I have to make sure that the service I give appears effortless and consistently sparkling. 

Though this is difficult at times, I never realized how difficult the tasting room manager's job is in this regard. Not only does she do my job (and do it at a higher level of skill), she also does lots of deep cleaning of the tasting room and back office. Dusting shelves, ordering food, vacuuming, mopping floors—all of this happens behind the scenes and not necessarily during normal hours of business.

Cleaning, however, can also mean something I love to do: organizing! This week, I helped reorganize all of our displays. We have a set of beautiful shelves on each side of the tasting room that display bottles, wine glasses and clothing that we have available for purchase. We also have information about the Willamette Valley and where to go next.

Refreshing these displays (which had stayed the same since about November, I believe) was so enjoyable! There was a faux-science to it, too. For example, we have two sparkling wines. I separated them and put one on each side of the room. But for all of our library wines, I put them all in one nook. Sometimes customers walk in and ask "where are your library wines?" Before, they were all over the place. Now, I can walk with them to the shelf and explain all of our library wines in one fell swoop.

Thankfully, I love every aspect of this internship so far—even the small tasks that might seem inconsequential, like cleaning or organizing!

Strategy Shift

I have a new respect for professors. This project has shown me the complications and difficulties in creating a class syllabus and schedule, and I can't begin to imagine the headache when the task is not hypothetical.

Anyways, I have changed a small approach to my project. I am going to add a case study example to my presentation to highlight the goals for my course. In making this addition, I have now created another project to complete. I truly believe the case study example will add emphasis to my overall project.

Progress - connections have been made with professors in the business department. An accounting professor in the department has been an amazing resource, and has really helped me develop my project. I just need to talk with Ellen and possibly Jeff about the desires for the minor and how to address these goals in my syllabus.

Left on my agenda for the project: meet with Ellen, finish IPO, Morningstar X-Ray Report, fund selection, write-up, compile information for syllabus and schedule after meeting with Jeff.

Tasks for completion of internship: supervisor evaluation, self evaluation, complete reading, two more paper segments, and continue weekly blog postings.

Next week we will have a group meeting, so I hope to blog the following Thursday regarding my progress in completing the assignments for both the final project and the internship as a whole.

As I sign off, I leave you with wise words from Ernest Hemingway: “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing."

Busy Work Chaos

Progress update as of now:
1. I have met with ETS lab services in McMinnville and discussed what they offer and what type of background you have to have to work there.
2. Talked with Mark from Duck Pond Cellars about his lab methods.
3. Waiting for a response from the questions I asked via email to Corey from Core Enology and Colby from NW Wine Co.
4. Waiting for a response from Ellen and Robert Brittan, one in regards to the Linfield wine studies and the other about lab practices for their winery.
5. Purchased my Now, Discover Your Strengths book and took the online strengths test.

Still need to do:
1. I need to follow through with Maysara Winery about getting a hold of someone who can help me with my lab questions.
2. Write my 2nd reflection paper due next Friday.
3. Read some of the Discover Strengths book.
4. Start putting together a tentative crash course involving the skills I know of as of now.

It is a very busy time in the semester, filled with a wide variety of tasks, tests and projects!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Life After Surgery

Last week was my first week back to the internship due to surgery on a nerve in my elbow. I have been trying to figure out what was wrong since this last fall and we finally got it fixed. Anyways, on a happier note, I actually got to go back to working at Duck Pond Cellars. I was able to work most of a full day on Friday and had a lot to do. The only thing that I am unable to do is lift anything over 3 pounds, so I have little jobs assigned. I had to rewrite the board with our local wine and cheese pairings, the flights and our other local products. Today I also got to see what work has been done to the gift shop and Erin asked me to change anything that I didn't see fit. I changed a few things, but since this is something I have been working on for awhile, I want it all to be perfect. Anyways, I also had the opportunity to be a part of the corporate meeting. We talked about the accounting side of the company and at that moment I realized how grateful I am for the education and the opportunities that I have gotten through Linfield. I understood a lot of what was being presented and I love how I am finally able to tie things that I have learned over the past four years to the real world. Being in this internship has taught me a lot thus far and I cannot wait to see what I learn by the end of this semester.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Timing is Everything

I chose the worst possible week to try and meet with business faculty. With course registration coming up, advising appointments have taken over every professor's schedule. Essentially this means that I have had to schedule appointments varying from one to two weeks out to get the information I need in creating my own course. Although I have not yet gained this information yet, I have taken another step forward in getting it!

As for the course, I have begun to read the required text and plan to get through the majority this weekend. I know that our second paper due date is quickly approaching, so I would like to have the book and accompanying test completed as soon as possible. This will leave more room open for completing my project and being able to receive critique well before the presentation deadline.

Unfortunately this means that I do not have as much information as I was hoping for from this week. While getting the scheduling out of the way is an accomplishment, I will be expecting to have all of the required information for my project by next week to ensure I am on the right track. I will also be completing the final parts of my spring internship by filling out the necessary paperwork as well as sending the evaluation forms to my supervisor.

Research, research, research!

After sending out emails to different wineries and labs I received quite a few interested in helping with my project! Yay!

Last week was filled with email responses and setting up times/best ways of communicating. Colby from NW Wine Co. is going to respond to my questions via email, which makes sense because as a group we already spent a bit of time there in the summer doing lab work for them. I had a phone conversation with Mark, Duck Pond Cellars winemaker. He provided a lot of good information and an open door if I have more questions. Corey from Core Enology promised to answer my questions via email, since I have already done a little bit of work with him in the fall.

I visited Steve at the ETS lab here in McMinnville, conveniently located in Davidson Wine Supplies. He showed me around the lab and explained what they do there. While it is not as fancy as their main lab, they have some pretty cool instruments and provide good services to the Willamette Valley for accredited wine analysis. I can see how doing routine testing through a lab could get spendy after awhile though.  

I am still trying to get a hold of Maysara Winery and doing some digging for some other sources to contact.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Finally Under Way

Though it took some time for me to find an internship after we came back from Beaune, my internship is now under way! I'll be completing my internship hours at R. Stuart and Co. Winery. I have worked in the tasting room at R. Stuart since the beginning of this school year and love working there.

What I love most is meeting those who come into our tasting room. We have a steady flow of regulars from McMinnville and the surrounding areas, as well as many tourists from around the world. From the regulars, I can learn all about their lives: what they do on weekends, who their children are and funny stories about McMinnville or Linfield if they've lived here for a long time. It's a very intimate connection because I am invested in their life. Often they are invested in my own, asking about school, singing and why I love wine. From the tourists, I learn about other places I would someday love to visit. I have heard about places as far away as Indonesia and as close as Chicago (and was enchanted by both).

This connection with the customers was what led me to choose an internship with R. Stuart. I wanted to learn what it was like to experience this every day, as someone who runs the tasting room. My boss, Casee, is an amazing role model. She knows how to connect with people quickly and effectively (and of course, how to sell wine). I'll be shadowing her and learning about how a tasting room functions, what a tasting room manager does, and how to do it well. I am very excited to learn more about her job—both the joys and the frustrations.

Sorry if your barrels leak, it wasent me.... Wk 3

          After bending the barrels and putting rings on the other side they were then taken to the lathe. This giant lathe would cut the edges of the barrel into a nice shape and put a notch into the top and bottom for the head to sit. This is was my job for the week, putting the heads on the barrels. each top to the barrel is measures precisely because they are all slightly different and a head is cut accordingly to the sizes they need. For example the top of the barrel will measure 29.52 and the head will have to be cut to 29.52. After this was done that is where I came in. I would take the barrels and sand the inside of the bung hole to create a nice surface for a rubber corks to sit without creating a leak. Then I would find the top that matched the barrel. Then I would take a kind of putty which I found out later is just a simple mixture of whole wheat flour, citric acid, and water, and place it in the grove around the barrel with a wooden pointed tool. If I messed this part up and I missed any spot of the grove the barrel would leak. Then I would pound one of the steel rings holding the barrel together up, separating the wood and creating enough of a gap for me to put the head in. Then while holding the head up with one hand I would have to pound the rings down to tighten the barrel back up while making sure the head sat precisely in that small 1/8th inch gap. Then after it was tight enough for it to sit there without falling I would take my piece of plastic and go around the ring hitting the plastic with the sledge hammer on the rings forcing them down and forcing the barrel tighter.
          This was a very interesting part of barrel making and who knew that this would be so much work, and so much precision. I have been amazed the entire process so far and I cant wait to go back and learn the next step in the process.

          P.S. I am sorry if your barrels leak...... I'm new.

What have I gotten myself into Wk. 2

         My second week at Oregon Barrel works was also very interesting. The main thing that I learned this week was how to raise (start) a barrel. One of my coworkers would take piece of strait flat oak and run them through a plainer that would cut the sides at an angle, create a curve on the back and the front of the piece of wood, and smooth it out. After this another one of my coworkers would lay the pieces of wood out onto a table where there were two pieces of steel on either side that were measured precisely to be the length of the circumference of the barrel. When he would lay the pieces of freshly cut wood onto the table he would have to alternate big and small pieces and find which pieces would make an exact fit to the length on the table. After this step he would bring the pieces in stacks over to me. Now for my part. I would have a galvanized ring that I would hold, then I would take one piece of wood, usually the biggest one, and clamp it to the galvanized ring. I would use my waist to hold up the other side of then ring then I would have to pick up and place a piece of wood into the circle and butt it up to the clamped piece. My left hand would put pressure onto the piece that I just put in holding it against the clamped piece. If I did not hold enough pressure on the piece at any point it would fall and I would have to start over. I would do this with approximately 30 pieces of wood that would make the barrel take shape. The final piece was always the hardest to get in but definitely the most rewarding. after the final piece was on I could throw a steel ring around the barrel and remove the clamp and the galvanized ring. I would throw a second steel ring on and then take a 3 pound sledge hammer and a plastic block and pound the rings down onto the barrels. This would tighten the wood up and make the barrels start to take shape. To pound each ring on it took me about 10 minutes per ring. Then the most difficult part, the top ring. When you put the top ring on you have to make sure that the other rings are tight because if they are not the top one wont go on. After about 20 minutes of pounding on this ring and finally getting it on I was done. My hands were throbbing, my right forearm was incredibly sore from swinging a 3 pound sledge hammer for 40 minutes and I could have given up after one barrel but to my overwhelming excitement there were 8 more stack of wood ready to be put together into barrels for me. This was the longest day of my life it felt like, what had I gotten myself into.

Oregon Barrel Works Wk 1

          Starting out my first week at Oregon Barrel Works was very nerve wracking. The first day I showed up the hustle and bustle of workers and the noise of machines cutting the edges of the barrels. Then after I was given my gloves, safety glasses, and earplugs, a huge cloud of smoke rises to the celling and fills the rooms with smoke. It had a very distinct smell of burnt wood, and being my first day I thought something was on fire! Luckily after observing where the smoke was coming from I found out that it was only the smoke from the oak chips they were producing after they were heated, then ran down a convayerbelt into a cooling drum where they would wait to be packaged and sent off.
          The first week I was there I mostly spent my time packaging the oak chips. After the chips were fired until they had a dark brownish color to them they would wait in the cooling drum until they had cooled to 100 degrees from about 350 degrees. Then I would take the plastic sacks and fill them up to the top with the chips. The bags had to weight precisely 40 lbs. so I would have to guess and see what was about 40 pounds then put them on the scale and add or take out chips depending on the weight. After this I would tie the tops with zip ties and begin loading them onto pallets that were stacked about 8 feet high. If you can imagine lifting 40 pound bags up over your head to stack them on the very top its not a fun experience.
          Overall my first week was very interesting and just being there one week already thought me a lot. I cant wait for the weeks to come and see what else interesting things I can learn.

Collin Simovic

Sunday, April 5, 2015

New Club Release!

This week was a whirlwind! Dominio IV released their new 2012 Tempranillo yesterday, so we spent Friday preparing for the release on Saturday.

On Friday, I arrived at the tasting room to find Ryan missing; he had to run up to Portland to retrieve wine from the portland wine storage. As soon as he returned, (five minutes after my arrival), the two of us began unloading his full car and putting the wines away to their designated place. Afterwards, I manned the tasting room while he ventured back out to finish up some last minute errands for the event on Saturday. I was a little nervous because this was my first time running a tasting room on my own, but I met a really nice family from Iowa who was very supportive and kind. I also got to meet two other people from within the industry, and we ended up having a nice conversation, as well.

When Ryan returned, we continued to set up the cellar for the event. The wine bottles were placed on barrels with candles, the cheese plates were set up (without the cheese on them, yet), and we prepackaged some wines into bags so they were ready to go if we had a rush.

On Saturday, I began the afternoon with washing and polishing glasses, lighting candles, buying and slicing bread, and plating cheese and salami. I also ran to the back and retrieved wine orders when people asked for them. As the afternoon continued, I began pouring and talking to a few customers and had a really nice time! At the end of the event, we cleaned up and headed home.

That's all I have for this week!
Until next time,

Saturday, April 4, 2015

It's in the Chardonnay

It is always worth it when customers come into the tasting room and try a wine that makes their faces light up. Especially when it's a chardonnay - an Oregon one nonetheless.

Over the past few months, I have been conducting interviews with several winemakers, vineyard managers, and winery owners in regards to this very special wine of Oregon. It has a bit of a tattered history in the state, but so much excitement is driving this wine into the spotlight. The creative energy is mind-blowing and the thought behind it is mind-boggling. Everyone has something to say about Oregon chardonnay and the conversations around it have not been heard since the early days when pinot noir gained wide support from the vintners of the valley.

But why?

An obvious element about Oregon chardonnay is that one, so little of it is made, and two, there is hardly a customer voice in the conversation. These two obvious elements perpetuate one another so much so that it is next impossible to get a glass of such a short-supplied wine in the hands of a consumer (at least one in primary markets where categories can be developed and solidified) so that they can say what they think about the wine. Or how they experience it, rather. And in that experience of the first sip, we begin to understand why Oregon chardonnay is such a big deal.

In a correspondence I have had with Becky Wasserman since my return from Burgundy, I have asked how to respond to the above conundrum. In what seemed to be a bit of a chortle, Becky responded that they key in getting Oregon chardonnays (which face the same challenges as Alsatian white wines) to the consumer's attention is to correspond with a couple wine writers of repute (especially those sympathetic to Oregon cause), perform a tasting in a primary market with mentioned writers and two or three sommeliers of note, as well as notable retailers, and to do so after a best research.

So now I have my project, though in a tight deadline.

It was not until recently I gained access to statistical data about the planting and selling of chardonnay in Oregon over the past few decades, as well as the scores of chardonnays reported over the last 15 years. It is certainly helpful to see this, though I think a tasting through Oregon chardonnays and discussion about their innate characteristics and attributes is necessary to round out the picture. Winemakers are extremely helpful, but generalities can only be made from general opinion, and when hard-pressed with critical inquiry, the answer boils down to creative choices based on personal tastes (within certain parameters). I am meeting with owners of vineyards who kept their original chardonnay vines to hear their story - why?

It is this story that I am seeking to write and share. Perhaps it is this story, too, that is in the glass and makes our faces light up.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Another Week of Work

My spring internship has come to an end. It is now time to focus solely on my project as the presentation date quickly approaches!

This week I have been laying down some foundation for my project. I have finally set up meetings with business professors on campus and sent out emails asking for information on what a new hire in their finance/accounting departments should know before starting to work. While I offered to meet in person, it is unlikely all of the people I contacted will have an opportunity to do so. At this point I am waiting to hear back from these individuals to see how to best structure this class.

When meeting with the professors I will also be asking for examples of class schedules and their syllabi. These will be great starting points for creating my own schedule and syllabus.

I also recently heard that a professor in the business department is extremely interested in accounting related to the wine industry. Although I only have two accounting classes under my belt, perhaps his input would be helpful in making this course. I have added meeting with him to my list!

Next week I am hoping to check in with a good amount of information as to the content of my class and how it would work into the Wine Minor at Linfield!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Research Progress

The first step of my research has begun! I have sent out emails to several different wineries and labs around McMinnville/Newberg area. Depending on the responses I get I will either need to follow up the emails with phone calls and then start the information gathering.

Majority of the places I contacted I have already been on a tour of their winery so I have I good idea of what the labs in place look like. Some places I would like to go and visit while I ask them questions about their lab practices so I can see what options they have to work with.

Hopefully the wineries and labs will be willing to help me with my research. Next week I plan on following up with a phone call if I did not get a response. Additionally I plan on arranging the visits and preparing my list of questions. The first part of the research has started.