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|Archives - March 2009|
|Sunday, March 01, 2009|
WHEN JIM BERNAU founded Willamette Valley Vineyards in 1983, his 15-acre, one-man operation was one of about 115 vineyards dotting Oregon’s landscape. As Oregon’s wine industry has grown in size and reputation, so has Willamette Valley Vineyards, which is now one of the leading producers of pinot noir in the state. As the president of Oregon’s only publicly traded winery — with $16.7 million in annual revenues — Bernau oversees 121 employees and the production of more than 120,000 cases of wine annually. We caught the winemaker on a rare day away from the winery to discuss the challenges facing Oregon’s wine industry.
Q How are Oregon wineries, including your own, faring in the recession?
Q What’s the industry doing to survive the recession?
Q Lobbyist, cellar rat, CEO — you’ve worked nearly every position in the industry. Have a favorite?
Q You recently acquired more than 200 acres.
Q Would reducing personal wine consumption to save a few dollars ever be an option?
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