Wine Enthusiast Magazine recognizes Oregon wine industry veteran
(November 11, 2021) – Eugenia Keegan, General Manager and Vice President of Oregon Winery Operations and Business Development for Jackson Family Wines, has been named Wine Executive of the Year as part of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2021 Wine Star Awards. In its 22nd year, Wine Enthusiast’s annual Wine Star Awards are among the most prestigious global wine industry awards given to honor those individuals and companies that make outstanding contributions to the wine world. This year, the magazine is bestowing awards across 14 categories, including Wine Executive of the Year.
Keegan has been a force behind Jackson Family Wines’ success in Oregon since she joined the company in 2014. In her current role, she is a dynamic leader across winegrowing, business and sales development, community outreach, and environmental stewardship. She oversees the winemaking for Gran Moraine, Zena Crown, WillaKenzie Estate, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, and the Willamette Valley programs for Siduri and La Crema.
A beloved figure rooted in the Oregon wine community, Keegan has dedicated years of service to the industry. She joined Jackson Family Wines in 2014 as Gran Moraine winemaker and assumed her current role in 2016, while continuing to hold leadership positions in the Willamette Valley and larger Oregon wine community. Keegan has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Oregon Wine Board, President of the Oregon Winegrowers Association, President of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association Board, and Co-Chair of Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction. She has also held positions on the Chemeketa Community College Wine Studies Advisory Committee, the LIVE Board of Directors, and the Strategic Planning Board of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education at Linfield University.
“I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of this award,” said Barbara Banke, Chairman and Proprietor of Jackson Family Wines. “Eugenia has an unmatched combination of winemaking, business and leadership experience, along with her drive and spirit, that allow her to truly stand out in the wine community. She has been vital to bringing our vision for Oregon to life by persistently championing quality, inspiring new projects that seek to elevate our wineries, and bringing great people into the fold.”
Born fifth-generation to a family with deep roots in the Russian River Valley, Keegan began her career in California in the mid-1970s. Following harvests in France, she held winemaking and executive positions in Napa Valley and Sonoma County for Hop Kiln Winery, Bouchaine Vineyards and Vine Cliff Winery. In the years following, she established her own label, settled in Oregon, founded and sold a distribution company, and worked additional harvests in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the Roussillon. Along the way, Keegan built a reputation for her keen business sense, advocacy, and dedication to mentorship and community.
Keegan said, “an honor such as this is a catalyst for reflection, and in my case over many spectacular years in our burgeoning New World wine industry. Yet no one receives this level of success without scores of individuals carrying you along the way; family, mentors, straight talkers (some gentle, some not), sharing lessons both profound and incidental as one’s personal database of experience grows, expands, and blossoms. At this juncture in my life’s work, the greatest reward is sharing those life lessons and doing for my younger colleagues what was so generously done for me.”
About Jackson Family Wines
Jackson Family Wines is a family-owned, vineyard-based company with a penchant for exploration. Founder Jess Jackson placed his faith in farming and a meticulous expression of wine with his first landscape-changing vintage in 1982, an ethos that chairman Barbara Banke and the Jackson family continue to uphold to this day.
The Jackson family’s collection of 40 wineries spans significant winegrowing regions, from California, Oregon, France and Italy in the northern hemisphere, to Australia, Chile and South Africa in the southern half of the globe. Vineyard ownership and sustainable practices remain key to consistent quality and artisan winemaking is built to scale, underscoring a steadfast commitment to making wines of character and integrity. For more information, visit https://www.