John Derthick - Lujon Wine Cellars Winemaker/Owner

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Every month we'll talk to someone who works in some way with wine. We're interested in how they got started, what inspires them and how wine has enhanced their life.

This month's TRIbella Ten guest, John Derthick, is a small batch Oregon winemaker whose growing portfolio of wines has garnered some pretty impressive ratings in the wine media.  He started small with 2 big reds sourced from Walla Walla grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, and has now expanded into making 8 varietals for his label Lujon Wine Cellars.

  1. How did you get started in your current work with wine?
    The first beverage I made was actually beer - still the love of science & farming to create delicious beverages!  I graduated from the Viticulture and Enology program at UC Davis, interned at some Napa wineries and then made my way back to Oregon. It's been 25+ years.
  2. What do you love about what you do?
    The challenge each vintage brings and watching peoples faces light up when they taste something they enjoy.
  3. What about your job do you think would surprise most people?
    1% Romance 99% Work
  4. What’s the first step for people to learn about wine?
    They need to taste and develop their palate.
  5. What is your favorite glass of wine to enjoy at home?
    Syrah - Lujon of course!
  6. If you could split a bottle of wine with anyone – alive or dead, fictional or real – who would it be, and what would you talk about?
    Mark Twain- all things political and social.
  7. Where were you when you had your most memorable glass of wine?
    Dinner with the family at BBQ New Yorks and a 12-year-old Grgich Napa Valley Cab.
  8. If your house was on fire and you only had time to grab one bottle of wine from your collection and one other personal item which ones would you save?
    A 3 Liter 2007 Syrah and my hard drive back up.
  9. If you were offered an all-expenses-paid trip to the wine region of your choice anywhere in the world for 3 months, where would you go?
     Italy, I consider the whole country "Wine Country".
  10. What vintage and varietal do you think would see the best result from an aerator (a TRIbella of course!)?
    A ten-year-old bottle of Pinot Noir. Okay 8-12 years.

If you're a wine professional and would like to submit your TRIbella Ten, send us a note here and we'll get you scheduled in!