This is part of a series introducing you to interesting people in the wine industry. For many, the journey into wine is not only intriguing but often quite an adventure. These talented individuals are what make the wine industry what it is today so follow this series to meet this group of passionate people who have dedicated their lives to wine.
Why Wine? An interview with Brent Stone of King Estate Winery
Was there a specific wine, moment or place that unlocked your passion?
Brent Stone: The first wine that really inspired me was a 2002 Beaux Freres Pinot Noir. It opened my eyes to how great Oregon Pinot Noir could be. I began trying more and more Oregon wines. To this day, I feel Oregon is one of the most outstanding wine regions in the world for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
What did you study in school and what were you doing before you started in the wine industry?
BS: I began my career as an R&D chemist and managed food laboratories and quality assurance programs for several years in the dairy industry. I started in the wine industry as a Lab Manager in 2011 and quickly gained an appreciation for wine. I received formal training in enology at Washington State University and became a winemaker at King Estate in 2016.
How has being in the wine industry changed you?
BS: Working in the wine industry can be a very humbling experience. Every vintage is different and brings new challenges. You have to adapt as a winemaker and allow yourself to continue to learn each year. It’s a profession that you never truly master.
What’s your favorite part of being in the wine industry?
BS: While challenging, the fact that every vintage is different is also my favorite part about being in the industry. It keeps you connected to the process and encourages you to learn new methods and approaches to winemaking.
Looking back, was there something in your past that led you to wine?
BS: I always had a love for science, but also a deep appreciation for farming and the production process in general. Winemaking allows you to be a part of all those things. You’re connected to the process from bud to bottle which is a unique and inspiring part of the industry.