Looking Back at a Busy 2009

By Hilary Berg, Oregon Wine Press Editor

As you turn the pages of this issue, you will notice some of our departments are missing—Value Picks, Wine 101, Commentary and so on. No worries. They will be back in February.

In January, our staff likes to take a small vacation from the usual fare and give readers something special: an issue that pauses to reflect and reminisce.

To accomplish this stroll down memory lane, OWP has compiled a top ten list of stories published in 2009.

Going through the year’s many articles, I was reminded how much can happen in 365 days and how busy life has kept all of us in the trade.

January is also the month in which we name someone who has made a significant impact on Oregon wine. This year, the pick for the OWP 2009 Person of the Year was unanimous: Greg Jones.

A professor and research climatologist in the geography department at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Dr. Gregory Jones is a pioneer in the study of climate’s effect on viticulture, both here in our own backyard and across the globe.

Focused on one of the hottest topics of today, climate change, his work has become indispensable.

His collection of data has helped to inform winegrowers everywhere, but it is in his own stomping ground of Southern Oregon, where growers have really reaped the benefits of his research.

Greg has been instrumental in finding varieties that excel in this part of the state. Growers in the Rogue, Umpqua and Applegate valleys have devoured his scientific findings and have used them to plant suitable, successful varieties. His input has improved a winegrowing region that has all of us impressed with its variety and quality.

It is because of his impact on Southern Oregon, as well as the world, that OWP is singing his praises.

As you read Janet Eastman’s article about our honoree, you will see I have only scratched the surface of his intriguing story and work.  

Kudos to Greg for all his amazing accomplishments, and thanks for being such a friendly, approachable and down-to-earth guy. It makes giving you the honor an even more rewarding experience. 

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