Doug and Joe Gore of Columbia Crest and Seven Falls Wineries
When Doug Gore moved to Prosser in 1982, he had worked 9 harvests in California vineyards and wineries. A state-of-the-art winery and warehouse known as Columbia Crest had just been built in Paterson, Washington, and Doug had come to be its founding winemaker. The demand then was mostly for white wines so he started with a white blend and a blush wine, but soon progressed to varietal whites and reds that were affordable, of high quality, and for national distribution. Today Columbia Crest is one of the largest wineries in the country and produces outstanding wines of great value in three collections: Grand Estates, H3, and Reserve.
Doug’s son Joe grew up around vineyards and labs, always thinking he’d end up working in athletics. But a business degree led to a distributor position, and since 2008 Joe has worked in sales and marketing for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (SMWE) – an umbrella organization that provides marketing expertise for many outstanding wineries, including Columbia Crest and Seven Falls. Today Doug is Executive Vice President for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and winemaker for Seven Falls Cellars, which produces 50,000 cases annually for dozens of restaurants nationwide. The SMWE goal is always to provide great wine experiences at world class wineries. Listen to this interview to learn about key changes in our wine industry since the 80s, challenges in selling wine, and how a winery built in the middle of nowhere in the early 80s became one of the most productive and successful wineries in the world.
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