Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Folin Cellars & God, King, Slave: Young Winemakers & Experimentation
This advice would seem to create a dichotomy between passionate wine makers, who enjoy drinking the wines they create, and more mercenary wine makers, who devise wines to please the masses but who wouldn't drink the wine themselves. Would you rather drink wines made by the former or latter? Personally, I would opt for the former, and I suspect many lovers feel the same way.
Southern Oregon, we stopped at Folin Cellars, in the Rogue Valley, to meet two young wine makers, Rob Folin and Chris Jiron. They provided an intriguing perspective on Southern Oregon, wine making and marketing, and because of their youth, are part of the future of the region.
In honor of Rob's philosophy, I'll do the same in my reviews of three of his wines. Just know that I recommend all three of these wines, and encourage you to taste other wines of Folin Cellars too if you get the opportunity.
God, King, Slave. Chris actually started out wine blogging about Southern Oregon and eventually moved into wine making, wanting to be on the ground floor of an emerging wine region. He began producing wine in 2009, now making his wines at Folin Cellars with an annual production of around 400 cases from fruit that he purchases in Southern Oregon.
The name of his winery derives from a famous saying by Constantin Brancusi, a Romanian sculptor, which states: "Work like a slave; command like a king; create like a god." He has had a few problems with his use of the term "god" on his label, though it doesn't appear those individuals are aware of the quote itself.
He doesn't have a tasting room, but makes himself available to people who give him a call and want to meet him to taste. Most of his wines are sold in Portland and he markets himself, not a brand, similar to what Rob does. As with Rob, social media is very important to Chris too. He feels that the younger generation of winemakers want to create different wines, to experiment, which follows Rob's thoughts as well. Chris though feels that "millennial marketing is silly" and that though the younger generation is interested in wine, it is still the older generation that is buying more of the wine.