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WillaKenzie Estate Announces New Winemaker


Erik Kramer Takes the Helm at Acclaimed Willamette Valley Winery

Yamhill, Ore. (January 27, 2017) – WillaKenzie Estate, producer of single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, today announced one of the top winemakers in Oregon, Erik Kramer, has joined the winery as director of winemaking, where he will lead all winemaking and cellar operations.

“Erik’s tenure making prestigious wine here in the Willamette Valley, coupled with his unending pursuit of quality and scientific mind, make him a great fit,” said Eugenia Keegan, general manager of Oregon wineries, Jackson Family Wines. “He also brings a curiosity for experimentation and obsession for site-specific wines that match our philosophy at WillaKenzie Estate. We’re incredibly enthused to have him on the team.”

Kramer has a reputation for wines of finesse and balance. His credentials include 13 years in the Willamette Valley, where he has a strong record of success crafting world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for esteemed local wineries. Previously, he made wine in New Zealand, where he earned his postgraduate diploma in viticulture and oenology at Lincoln University and graduated with honors. Kramer also holds a bachelor’s of science degree in geology from Florida State University – a degree he draws on today when considering the relationship between terroir and wine quality. He worked as a hydrogeologist in the petrochemical industry before turning his passion for science and appreciation for fine wine into a career.

“The diversity of clones and varietals planted at this unique site is extremely compelling,” said Kramer. “Creating complex wines that reflect their sense of place will be the goal for me and my team, and I’m excited to build on the tradition of winemaking excellence at WillaKenzie Estate.”

Longtime assistant winemaker Michael Caputo and enologist David Maas remain a core part of the WillaKenzie Estate winemaking team.

About WillaKenzie Estate

WillaKenzie Estate crafts Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris with a distinct sense of place. Founded in 1992 in the Yamhill-Carlton region of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the winery was named after the sedimentary soil on which the vines are planted. The estate vineyards feature more than 11 clones of reflect the ultimate expression of “terroir.” WillaKenzie Estate was the first winery to receive the Low Input Viticulture and Enology (L.I.V.E.) winery certification, recognizing its deep commitment to sustainable practices. Learn more at www.willakenzie.com.

About Jackson Family Wines

Jackson Family Wines (JFW) is a family-owned and run company that crafts award-winning wines of distinct character and quality. With a focus on sustainable viticulture practices, responsible vineyard and natural resource management and unparalleled winemaking, the family’s collection comprises more than 50 renowned brands, with substantial winery and vineyard holdings throughout the premier wine-growing regions of California and Oregon. JFW also crafts fine wines from Australia, Chile, France, Italy and South Africa. Founded in 1982 by wine pioneer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Jess Jackson, Jackson Family Wines and its wineries are led by Chairman Barbara Banke and the Jackson family. Learn more on the web at www.jacksonfamilywines.com.

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