5 Questions with Gran Moraine Winemaker Eugenia Keegan

May 5, 2017

When you’re in an industry for nearly 40 years, you experience a lot of changes. Fortunately, the wine industry has enjoyed many changes for the better.


“Wine is becoming a bigger part of people’s lives,” said Eugenia Keegan, Gran Moraine winemaker. “There is more and more consumption every year, and our customers really care about what we’re doing.”


That thoughtful consumer feedback makes winemaking particularly rewarding for the well-travelled Keegan, who has gathered valuable growing experience in a variety of regions, including France, California and Oregon. She even owned her own wine brand – Keegan Cellars – which produced from the Russian River Valley.


Keegan now brings that experience to the Willamette Valley to help grow the Gran Moraine brand. We were happy to catch up with Keegan to learn more about her background and her love of wine.



How did you get into wine?

Eugenia Keegan: I grew up in Sonoma County, and when it was time for go away to college, I decided to go to law school. There are a lot of lawyers in my family, so it’s basically our family business. It took me all of about six weeks in law school to realize law wasn’t in my future. So I decided to move back to Sonoma County, and it didn’t take me long to realize that my favorite thing growing up was spending time with my grandfather on our family ranch, which coincidentally, is right next door to La Crema. Agriculture and farming is what I really loved. I knocked on a few winery doors and started learning on the ground floor of winemaking.


Tell us about some of the recent highlights for Gran Moraine Winery.

I’m really proud of our Chardonnay. It’s such a new territory – I love it. I took a trip to Europe specifically to learn how to make Chardonnay. I’ve always wanted to make it in Oregon and then I got the chance. I feel our Chardonnay has helped define Willamette Valley Chardonnay and that’s very important to me and the brand.


Why is Pinot Noir unique to you?

There is something seductive about that wine. So many people start their wine journey with sweeter wines, or at the Cabernet level, but all roads lead to Pinot Noir. When you get a great Pinot, it just takes you to a whole different sensation of wine.


What can consumers expect to see from Gran Moraine this year?

People can expect to enjoy our rosé that will be hitting the market. It’s a Provencal-style. It’s become so popular that we’d be asked to produce it. That’s coming up quickly, and then after that, we’ll produce some incredible Gran Moraine Sparkling Wine.


Why do you love wine?

I’m in one of the most unusual industries – its agricultural, its science, its art, its craft, its business, its social. It has so many aspects that most businesses don’t. I love that. And I love the fact that you make this product solely to take to the dinner table. You share it with family and friends. It’s part of life.


(Photo courtesy of http://www.granmoraine.com/our-team

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