CJ McCollum is a wine guy. To the point that he’s known to bring bottles from his cellar on the road with him,
Now he’s getting in on the action himself. McCollum has paired with Adelsheim Vineyards to release the McCollum 91 Heritage pinot noir. Marc Spears chatted with CJ about the release for The Undefeated:
While McCollum has been hitting big shots — with a fractured back, no less — during the Blazers’ playoff push, he has also been making moves as one of the few Black winemakers in Oregon, which is world-renowned for its wine region featuring more than 700 wineries, 1,000 vineyards and 72 grape varieties.
During a limited release in September, the Blazers guard will debut his inaugural wine, McCollum Heritage 91, which was made in partnership with Adelsheim Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains. The wine was harvested Sept. 19-28, 2018, and bottled on Aug. 8, 2019.
McCollum shared his thoughts on the process:
“Seeing where we started to where it is at now, the process that it took, it’s crazy,” McCollum said. “From tasting the grapes to picking them off the vines to tasting five months in where it’s not ready to now. … It’s a testament to surrounding yourself with the right people. That is the biggest thing.
“Make unrealistic goals and then go after them. That is what I’ve always done in my life historically. To be in this position now to have my own pinot noir with a well-respected winery like Adelsheim, it shows how I continue to diversify and expand my portfolio and take advantage of my situation. It’s crazy how it all came full circle coming from not having my own wine at all to having my own blend.”