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Winemakers

Ken Pahlow & Erica Landon, Walter Scott Wines

Ken has been making wine in Oregon for more than 20 years. His experience began in 1994 with production, sales and harvests at St. Innocent Winery, working under winemaker Mark Vlossak for 14 years. In 2009, Ken joined the harvest team at Patricia Green Cellars, where he also began producing the Walter Scott wines. In 2010, Ken accepted a position with Evening Land Vineyards to manage their Northwest sales and distribution, during which time he worked harvest and studied alongside winemaker Dominique Lafon. At the same time, Ken continued to expand his knowledge by representing world-class wine distributors. Starting in 1999 he began a 10-year stint with Vin de Garde and later worked for Galaxy Wine Company. These two portfolios represent many of the top wine estates from around the world, and provided a unique opportunity for Ken to educate his palate.

Erica comes from the world of restaurants and wine education. Her interest in wine was ignited at the top of Mt Hood where she helped manage the wine program for Timberline Lodge's Cascade Dining Room. Eventually she crossed the Willamette Valley to the heart of Oregon's wine country where she was Sommelier and General Manager for The Ponzi Family's Dundee Bistro. She then moved on to one of Portland's top restaurants, Ten 01, which received the Best of Wine Spectator Award of Excellence under her direction. In 2011 she took a position for Bruce Carey Restaurants as Wine Director for some of Portland's top restaurants (including Bluehour, Clarklewis, 23Hoyt, and Saucebox) while also overseeing the programs at Tabla and Castagna. Erica has also shared her passion and excitement about wine through teaching at Wine & Spirits Archive, the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and the International Sommelier Guild.

Ken and Erica have been thoroughly involved with the International Pinot Noir Celebration and the Oregon Pinot Noir Camp. At these venues they have helped to organize the wine service, sat on the selection and planning committees, and hosted bus tours educating representatives of the wine trade and consumers. They are also both involved with the Eola-Amity Hills Winegrowers Association, helping to market the region that they both are so passionate about.

In 2014, both Ken and Erica said goodbye to their additional employment to focus entirely on Walter Scott.

John Grochau, Grochau Cellars

John Grochau was first introduced to wine and the winemaking landscape in his early 20’s, while racing bicycles for a French team in the Loire Valley. For several years, he raced through some of France’s most revered winemaking regions including Champagne, Burgundy and the across the Loire Valley. When he returned to his hometown of Portland, Oregon, he went to work in the restaurant business and quickly discovered an even greater appreciation for wine.

After more than decade selling wine in some of Portland’s finest restaurants, including a 14-year stint at Higgins, Grochau plunged into winemaking. He spent a year in Sonoma before returning to Oregon to work at Erath Winery, and then worked alongside winemaker Doug Tunnell at Brick House Vineyards for four years. His first vintage as owner and winemaker at Grochau Cellars was 2002.

With Grochau’s restaurant experience, there was a natural progression as a winemaker to craft food-friendly wines that enhance a meal. Grochau strives to make wines that are balanced, textured and expressive of place. Inspired by the diversity of the Willamette Valley’s soils and microclimates, Grochau sources fruit from organic and sustainably-farmed vineyards.

Grapes are hand-harvested and wines undergo a slow, natural fermentation. Working with grape varieties with a legacy in the Willamette Valley – namely Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc – Grochau also seeks to showcase the potential of emerging varieties like Melon de Bourgogne and Gamay.

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