Archives Awareness: Archives for a “Cork Dork”

MARA Blog Katherine-Kuryla

Published: October 18, 2017 by Katie Kuryla 

I started reading a book called Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker. It is a book about a woman who goes on a “wine-fueled adventure among the obsessive sommeliers, big bottle hunters, and rogue scientists who lead her to live for taste.” I enjoy a good glass of wine but there is so much more to wine than just what we are drinking. Bianca Bosker, a journalist turned sommelier, wanted to know wine through taste and what stirs people to want to become a sommelier but what about the history of wine?

The Oregon Wine History Archive (OWHA) was founded in 2011 at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon has been working to document all aspects and preserve historical materials from all regions of the Oregon wine industry. They are housing irreplaceable photographs, maps, oral histories, wine labels, magazine, newspapers, letters and bottle of wines all from the wineries and vineyard owners to the growers, researchers, and marketers and the sellers. These articles span the early days of the industry to the present.

Linfield showcases this history with colorful and sometimes quirky depictions of what was once an upstart industry. Some examples in the collection come from growers who lived in a lumberjack shack with his family; one grower built his first winery with a leftover chicken-house roof, and some went against the advice of experts by planting grapes in the region. One grower talked about how he lost crops to shoulder-high weeds and another bought garden hoses in an attempt to save grapes planted in August. This showed that Yamhill county, the county of McMinnville, Oregon, wine pioneers helped initiate the national movement toward green agriculture and established ORegon as North America’s home for Pinot Noir. OWHA feels this is a story worth preserving and I agree.

OWHA is home to some of the biggest names in Oregon pinot noir, including Erath Winery, Ponzi Vineyards, Amity Vineyards, WillaKenzie Estate, Sokol Blosser Winery, Tualatin Estate Vineyards, Rex Hill Winery and Estate, Weber Vineyard, McDaniel Vineyard, Fuqua Vineyards and Janis Migla. They holds collections from more than a dozen wineries, vineyards and organizations as well as houses collections from the International Pinot Noir Celebration, Oregon Wine Board, Oregon Pinot Camp and ¡Salud!, a health care program for seasonal vineyard employees and their families.. To check out their digital collection, visit them at DigitalCommons@Linfield.

I definitely love that this college felt the need to preserve something we will probably be enjoying in the future and if you get a chance to visit, it will be a great tour!


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