Jackalope Wine Cellars 2013 Cabernet Franc

The Craigslist winemaker

There’s a way you’re supposed to become a winemaker. You’re expected to apprentice in France or Italy, get a graduate degree in oenology, and find a millionaire investor to serve as your patron.

Or, if you’re Corey Schuster, you answer an ad on Craigslist for a winery assistant to work on the harvest crew and pour wine in the tasting room.

It’s not as if Corey had nothing better to do. After all, he was making a good living as a civil engineer. But looking for a career change, he promised himself that he’d try any job for one day.

When he answered that Craigslist ad, the winery manager asked him what he knew about wine. Corey’s answer: “Not much. But I like drinking it!” His honesty won him the job that day. And his hard work ensured he kept it.

After working at several well-known wineries in the Willamette Valley, Corey found his way to the Southeast Wine Collective. The Collective is an urban winery and tasting room in Portland with shared equipment used by multiple winemakers – and is making a big splash.

Mentored by the Collective’s Kate and Tom Monroe, Corey’s first vintage was in 2012. He’s certainly not playing it safe, experimenting with unique and interesting grapes not often found in the Willamette Valley. For example, more than half of his production last year featured Cabernet Franc, a distinctive wine that he celebrates by bringing out its spicy and herbal qualities rather than just fruit.

The winemaker from Craigslist has found his place. Says Corey, “The wine industry is about community, and a love of the work, something I’d not experienced before.”

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Jackalope Wine Cellars, Dundee, Oregon
2013 Cabernet Franc

Like the viola in a string quartet alongside a violin, a cello, and a bass, Cabernet Franc is rarely heard from alone. It is traditionally grown in the Bordeaux region in France and used as a blending grape to soften Cabernet Sauvignon and provide complexity to Merlot. It’s a treat to taste unadulterated Cabernet Franc and even more rare to find it here in Oregon.

This 2013 offering from Jackalope gives you a fun opportunity to taste this distinctive grape all by itself. And it’s not just unusual; it’s also really tasty.

The grapes are from the renowned Quady North vineyard in Southern Oregon. The area’s warm, dry weather creates very ripe fruit which imparts a rich, fruity character in the wine. This Jackalope displays the vegetal, green bell pepper and herbaceous flavors common in Cab Franc while also shining with red fruits, spices, and a little pepper. It’s “a little wild” says winemaker Corey Schuster. Only 70 cases produced, and we’re thrilled to share it with Cellar 503 members.

A Cellar 503 selection in December 2014, Our Inaugural Selection Applegate Valley | Cabernet Franc

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