The Fullerton family of Portland’s Fullerton Wines believes that great wine speaks profoundly; it’s a universal language transcending any one culture. And as a family that speaks many languages, it’s no surprise that wine has become a favorite language to connect, speak and share with others.
After Alex Fullerton graduated from the University of Oregon in 2010 with an economics degree, he and his father Eric were tasting wine at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. A conversation about homebrewing and the process of fermentation ensued, which led to another conversation about Alex Fullerton making wine.
He got his feet wet as an intern and later a cellar hand at Penner-Ash. Passion ignited and Fullerton then went to New Zealand to work at the now-defunct Drylands Winery in Marlborough, returning to Oregon more determined than ever to learn more about growing and production. He worked another harvest at Penner-Ash, then at Bergström Wines before Fullerton Wines was born in in 2011 in a garage with just a few barrels of Pinot Noir.
Fullerton eventually took the reins as head winemaker for Fullerton Wines crafting Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Here, he talks about what it’s like being one of the youngest winemakers in the Willamette Valley, his Danish roots and his family’s vision for their winery.