This is part of a series introducing you to interesting people in the wine industry. Now, the interviews have broadened to include craft spirits as well. For many, the journey into wine and spirits is not only intriguing but often quite an adventure. These talented individuals are what make these industries what they are today so follow this series to meet this group of passionate people who have dedicated their lives to wine and spirits.
Why Wine? An Interview with Jennifer Kadell of Bull Run Distilling Co. & Keeler Estate Vineyard
Michele Francisco: Was there a specific wine, spirit, moment or place that unlocked your passion?
Jennifer Kadell: Growing up in the Willamette Valley, I have appreciated watching the industry grow and transform. I always have gravitated to the boutique label of anything but especially in my wine job positions. It was working in wine that I had the experience of Ransom’s Old Tom Gin at Nick’s backroom in McMinnville. Knowing that Tad Seested had a wine label under this name as well, I was completely intrigued and started following the local spirit scene. While relocating to the city, I started exploring the distilleries all located within the city limits of Portland. Here I met my distillery family, Bull Run. I am completely enamored with this industry and plan to immerse myself even more so in the future. Maybe even help in a spirit creation.
MF: What did you study in school and what were you doing before you started in the wine and spirits industry?
JK: I have always been drawn to its creativity and culture. My other jobs that have involved customer service have only helped me gain what I can now bring to any tasting room environment.
MF: How has being in the wine and spirits industry changed you?
JK: I was (and still somewhat am) terrified of public speaking. Having my foot in this consumer focused industry, plus the desire to want to educate people on what we create, has helped me over come that in some way. It has also opened the door for me to meet other people in industries like mine (food, wine, art, music).
MF: What’s your favorite part of being in the industry?
JK: The wine aspect of it! Eating, drinking and being merry! I love to explore and find the perfect pairings! I find excitement in indulging in new experiences with eating and/or drinking. For me, the two go hand in hand.
MF: Looking back, was there something in your past that led you to wine and spirits?
JK: I have always had an appreciation of fine foods and different flavors. Wine is something that can enhance those and completes the picture. Wanting to grasp that concept has led me on a journey of discovery into the world of wine and all the wonders it has to offer.