Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum has purchased a 318-acre property in Oregon’s Yamhill-Carlton to develop his Heritage 91 wine brand. The purchase price and identity of the seller were not disclosed.
The NBA star is looking to expand his wine brand in the Willamette Valley with his wife Elise, and is due to plant Pinot Noir vines on the site next year, says Wine Spectator. McCollum made his first move into wine last year when he teamed up with Adelsheim Vineyard to produce McCollum Heritage 91 made with 2018 Pinot Noir from the Chehalem Mountains.
“After careful consideration and learning throughout my time at Adelsheim, it felt like it was the right decision and the next step in our progression to grow and leave our lasting legacy here,” McCollum told Wine Spectator. “We’ll be meeting with architects and going over vineyard management plans in terms of what we want to plant first and what our future looks like, but the goal is to turn it into a vineyard property.”
McCollum consulted his inner wine circle before making the purchase, including Stoller president Gary Mortensen, Corner 103 founder Lloyd Davis, Adelsheim winemaker Gina Hennen and Adelsheim CEO Rob Alstrin.
“When you hear that innovative, giving, talented and creative people like CJ and Elise make a commitment to the Willamette Valley, it just further affirms the region’s reputation for quality,” said Morgen McLaughlin, executive director of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. “CJ has been a wonderful ambassador for Oregon, through basketball, his local philanthropic efforts and now his interest in making top-quality wines from the Willamette Valley.”
In the meantime, McCollum will continue to work with Adelsheim Vineyard for the time being. His 2019 Pinot Noir is due to be released this month.
“I have big goals and aspirations to turn this into a world-class vineyard with world-class wine,” McCollum told WS. “The reason why I got into the wine business in the first place was because Elise introduced me to wine 10 years ago, and I felt like this was the perfect opportunity for us to grow together and leave our legacy and continue to build for our families and generations that come after us,” he added.