Cult of Personality

Ben Martin, craft vintner, Dauntless Wine Cø.

My Latest in Oregon Wine Press:

Cult of Personality

Craft vintners full of character, charisma

By L.M. Archer

Ben Martin, winemaker and co-founder of Dauntless Wine Cø.

One of the hottest trends today, Oregon leads the way in craft winemaking.

Leonardo da Vinci coined the term “craft,” defining the marriage of art and science. America’s growing craft wine scene reflects this ingenious union of passion and practicality, but with a twist.

“We have a farm culture that’s different than other places in the world,” contends Carole Lawson, founder of the Craft Wine Association. “We have regional foods or interpretations of food in our communities across the country, which are different from one place to another. The personality of the communities shows through the wines here, as they do in France or Spain, or any other place around the world.”

Lawson founded the “distinctly American” association in 2016 to celebrate this cultural “personality” of wine. Membership spans the U.S., including eight in Oregon.

Mostly family-owned, craft winemakers produce fewer than 5,000 cases annually; many move to winemaking from other careers. Some hone their skills through mentors and local wine studies programs. All cite strong community ties as key to their success.

Dauntless Wine Cø.

A fortuitous meeting with an American Legionnaire in 2008 spurred Veteran Ben Martin to establish Dauntless Wine Cø. in Forest Grove.

“He made mention of this vineyard and winery the Legion had (Domaine du Capitaine Danjou),” recalled Martin. “He was thinking about moving back to France to stay there. At a basic level, our missions are the same: to take care of our own. Our end goal is to be able to house veterans interested in agriculture (particularly viticulture) as an alternative therapy method.” Read full article here.



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