My Cover Story for Wine Business Monthly:
Oregon Family Wineries: Planning for the Future
by L.M. Archer
IT’S A BRISK, WINTER morning in southern Beaune. Soft sunlight spills across the limestone walls of Clos des Mouches, across the lane and into the conference room of Maison Joseph Drouhin’s satellite winery.
Inside, Véronique Boss-Drouhin, snug in coral cardigan sweater, settles down to rows of neatly labeled wine samples arrayed along a linen-draped table. Across from her, daughter Laurène Boss, cozy in a white wool scarf, powers up the laptop.
It’s Oregon winetasting time at Maison Joseph Drouhin (MJD), one of Burgundy’s most prominent domaines. It’s also one of the most pioneering. In 1987, the family ventured to Oregon, establishing Domaine Drouhin Oregon (DDO) in Dundee and Roserock Oregon in Eola-Amity Hills in 2013.
In doing so, the Drouhins joined a large cadre of family-owned wineries in Oregon. According to the Oregon Wine Board, family-owned wineries account for nearly 70 percent of all state wineries. But recent acquisitions by major brands, like Champagne Bollinger, Santa Margherita and Constellation, leave many such family wineries worried about the future.
Fifth-generation Maison Joseph Drouhin plans for the future through the Burgundian philosophy of patrimoine. This concept honors past generations while safeguarding future generations— principles applied at Domaine Drouhin Oregon and Roserock Oregon, too.
Founded in 1880 in Beaune by Joseph Drouhin, the negociant house initially bought grapes and wine to blend and resell under their own label. Second-generation Maurice Drouhin expanded into land ownership; in 1921 he purchased the premier cru Clos des Mouches vineyards to create estate-grown wine. A World War II French Resistance hero, Maurice eventually entrusted the reins to third-generation Robert Drouhin, who pushed the family’s holdings beyond the Côte d’Or into areas like Chablis, the Mâconnais and Oregon.
Today, Robert Drouhin’s four adult children manage all aspects of the family business. READ MORE HERE.
Print Postscript Corrections:
SJR vineyard was mis-spelled SRJ in the first line. Simonit & Sirch was mis-spelled Simonit & Sirich.
Brooke Robertson attended Cal Poly for her Masters work; she holds a Winemaker Certification from UC Davis.