Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum is an offensive mastermind on the court and a burgeoning wine expert off of it. McCollum, who launched his own wine label under the name Heritage 91, is set to release a Pinot Noir in partnership with Adelsheim Vineyard later this year.
Wine Spectator contributor Shawn Zylberberg spoke with McCollum about his fondness of Oregon Pinot Noirs. The former Lehigh standout explained that his wine journey started when he landed with the Blazers.
“It’s crazy how this all came to life with me being drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers and falling into the goldmine of Pinot Noir here in Oregon,” McCollum told Wine Spectator.
Adelsheim winemaker Gina Hennen went on to explain that McCollum is an active partner with a developed palate.
In the early days of Heritage 91’s development, McCollum blind-tasted several wines with Adelsheim winemaker Gina Hennen and was immediately drawn to flavors from volcanic soils. The resulting Pinot Noir is a blend sourced from three contiguous estate vineyard properties. “[CJ] is so engaged in the entire process and genuinely wants to learn everything he can about the business,” Hennen said. Elaborating on their shared philosophy, Hennen added that “the final blend should contain echoes of each vineyard and yet be dominated by none of them.”
According to the story from Wine Spectator, the latest wine under the Heritage 91 label will be available for purchase on Sept. 15.