Terry Sullivan is an organic grape grower, wine producer and glassblower in Talent.
On one side of his house, Sullivan tends to syrah, viognier and other vines. On the other side is a glass-blowing studio, where he creates artistic wine decanters and graceful, stemless wineglasses.
Soon, he’ll be able to pour his estate-grown 2010 Upper Five Vineyards tempranillo, the first wine under his own label, into his glassware and drink it. Glass, like grapes and wine, is not very forgiving, he says.
“I can’t make a mistake along the way if I want to get the results I want,” Sullivan says. He bought his property in 2001, planted 21/2; acres in 2003 and added another acre in 2006. His Upper Five Vineyard was certified organic in 2005.
As Sullivan, 55, shifts to the even higher standard of Biodynamic, he has to work with nature and pay attention to minute changes.
“I can’t use a silver bullet to fix a problem,” he says of forgoing synthetic pesticides in the vineyard or sulfur to correct a young wine.
In 2010, his organic sauvignon blanc grapes were purchased by Bill and Barbara Steele of Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden and made into 144 cases of Sullivan/Steele Sauvignon Blanc ($22). Only three cases remain at Harry & David Country Village in Medford.
At the Sullivan/Steele debut party last June at Thai Pepper in Ashland, Sullivan told the crowd that some call grape growing a “labor of love,” but he calls it “a love of labor.” “You have to love it,” he said.
The 2011 Sullivan/Steele Sauvignon Blanc will be released in the summer. His 2010 Upper Five Vineyard tempranillo, made with winemaker Linda Donovan, will be unveiled in the fall.
As for his handblown glassware, a 12-ounce glass ($15) with a purple, gold or blue rim and a 750-milliliter spiral-neck decanter ($80) are sold at Trium tasting room in Talent or in a five-piece set at www.etsy.com/listing/94239063/handblown-stemless-wine-glasses.
Taken from the Ashlnd Daily Tidings, by Janet Eastman,