Jackalope Wine Cellars 2017 White 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.

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 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.

Starting at the Southeast Wine Collective in Portland, Corey’s now moved to the Dundee winemakers studio known as Day Camp. Known for his experimental style, he’s winning fans in Oregon — and more than a few around the world.

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
2017 White 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 rare to find it here in Oregon.

And even more rare? To find a white edition. Corey brings in the fruit and immediately presses off the juice so there is no color to this wine. I agree with him – it’s the pure essence of sunshine and salinity in a glass.

For our February “Wines We Love” feature, this wine is a perfect fit. Previously, we’ve featured Jackalope’s bold and smoky 2013 Cabernet Franc and the rich and ripe 2014 edition.

This 2017 edition has the herbaceousness and pepper of Cabernet Franc, but light and bright without tannins — and a salt/sweet combo that reminds me of pineapple chutney.

A Cellar 503 selection in February 2019, Wines We Love Rogue Valley | Cabernet Franc

Explore Oregon Wines: Wineries | Varietals | AVAs | Cellar 503 Selections