Portland Trail Blazer CJ McCollum Is Now the Owner of a 300-Acre Vineyard in Oregon
The modern NBA's love for fine wine is well documented - including shipping better wine to the "bubble" last season. LeBron James' "supercomputer" -like spirit of wine certainly influenced some members of the League, but he is far from alone. Last year, players took part in a virtual tasting series and actively campaigned to make the world of wine more inclusive. A number of active and former players have even launched their own wine brands - names like Dwayne Wade, Channing Frye and Amar'e Stoudemire.
But few players have proven to be as obsessed with wine as Portland Trail Blazer CJ McCollum, who allegedly turned his room into a giant refrigerator during the aforementioned bubble to keep his 84-bottle collection at the right temperature. Last year McCollum and his wife Elise (who introduced CJ to wine in college) launched their own McCollum Heritage 91 wine label, mountains in Oregon's Willamette Valley, sold out in less than an hour.
How can you meet this demand in the future? They bought a vineyard, of course. In fact, the almost 30-year-old shooting guard appears to be the first active NBA player to own his own vineyard.
"It's been a little over a year since we announced the McCollum Heritage 91 seal, but Elise and I have had the privilege of exploring various vineyards in the Willamette Valley for much longer," said McCollum. "As we explored the long-term vision of McCollum Heritage 91 and beyond, we really longed to improve the sense of place that is represented by purchasing this beautiful property."
The yet-to-be-named vineyard is a 318 acre property in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA in the Willamette Valley, west of the Chehalem Mountains, where the label's grapes are currently grown. According to an announcement, the farm - which borders Resonance Vineyard - has "multiple microclimates, a five-acre reservoir, several irrigation ponds, a quarry and a nursery."
"Hearing that innovative, dedicated, talented and creative people like CJ and Elise are committed to the Willamette Valley only reinforces the region's reputation for quality," added Morgen McLaughlin, Executive Director of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. added. "CJ has been a wonderful ambassador for Oregon through basketball, his local philanthropic efforts, and now his interest in making fine Willamette Valley wines."
The McCollums hope to start planting the vineyard next year and work with local experts to find the best clones for the country. In the meantime, McCollum Heritage 91 wines will continue to be produced with their current founding partner Adelsheim Vineyard. Speaking of which, the Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 2019 goes on sale on September 27th.
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