Crafting a great bottle of wine can become a lifelong endeavor. For professional athletes, wine occasionally transforms into a compelling second career. From football to basketball, in Oregon, there’s an increase in wine brands as sports legends retire. A few have practically grown up in the industry (or adjacent to it); some use their wineries to promote diversity while others have discovered a place that feels like home.
Big Game Wine Player
For NFL star Drew Bledsoe, wine seemed like the obvious next step after 14 seasons playing football. His love of wine developed while playing for the New England Patriots, along with the realization his hometown of Walla Walla was producing some of the best wines in the world. “A group of football players were all bitten by the wine bug around the same time,” says Bledsoe. “We would perform blind tastings at the house and then vote for those we liked best. I would, of course, include something from Walla Walla. Every time, the Walla Walla wine was chosen over fancy, expensive wines from Napa and Bordeaux.”
He thought, perhaps, after his football career, he could return home and start a winery and craft some of the best wines in the world. After his final year with the Dallas Cowboys, Bledsoe… Check out the full story here on Oregon Wine Press.