Roots Vineyard, Yamhill-Carlton AVA. ##Photo by Andrea Johnson

Back to My Roots

My time at OWP means the world

By Hilary Berg

It is with a whirlwind of emotions that I write my final letter as editor of Oregon Wine Press.

After 16 years, I’m passing on the OWP baton to focus on my own winery, Roots Wine Co., and move on to a new company that creates magazines centered on other topics — in other words, not wine.

Let me explain. It’s been a great honor to cover the community I call my own. But just as Roots has grown from a 72-case winery in 2002 to more than 5,000 cases today — thanks to Chris’ hard work and business acumen — I’ve also grown, hit a personal ceiling and felt the need for diversification, a change of pace and a desire to concentrate my wine energy.

Leading OWP has been a wonderful gift. In 2006, I approached Jeb Bladine, owner of the News-Register and Oregon Litho — I’d met him at mutual friend David Polite’s house during a poker night — after realizing OWP, faithfully delivered to our mailbox each month, suddenly stopped coming. Knowing the N-R had all the working pieces to execute such a publication, I suggested Jeb buy OWP and hire me. I had been in the magazine business for the previous six years.

He took a chance and named me editor. I am so very grateful he did. For all the growth as a writer, editor, designer and wine professional, I am indebted to OWP. Of course, the greatest blessing has been the people I’ve gotten to know along the way.

To the writers, photographers, PR mavens, winery owners, growers, tasting room workers, organization leaders, restaurateurs and many more, thank you for your help and fellowship. For those inside the N-R/OLI family (past and present) and the regular contributors, I will miss dearly our regular bantering.

For those so inclined, you know where to find me. I’ll be on Woodland Loop, working from home, wrangling chickens, mowing the side yard, managing club shipments and taking walks with my husband, our scrappy dogs and our sweet son, Theo.

Bladine family, thank you for the opportunity. A toast to the serendipitous acquisition 16 years ago and all the memories that followed. To OWP and its bright future, cheers! 

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