Overview: Great wine speaks profoundly, a universal language transcending any one culture. Hailing from northern Europe, the Fullerton family speaks many languages, and delights in sharing the language of wine with others. Fullerton Wines crafts elegant and distinctive Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that transport you to their place, Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Winemaker: Alex Fullerton
Owned & Operated by: Eric and Susanne Fullerton
Fruit Sources: Select Vineyard Partners and Estate Ivy Slope Vineyard
Varietals: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Viticulture: Organic, Biodynamic, and Sustainable
Total Production: 4,500 cases
A family of enophiles, the Fullertons can trace their love of wine to Eric, who was first introduced to wine growing and production during his teenage years when he worked as a cellar hand in Germany (a story in and of itself). A few years later, his best friend in Denmark inherited an impressive cellar of Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. Together, they sought younger bottlings of the cellared wines, and held vertical tastings. Their interest in wine grew, and they began traveling throughout France discovering new producers to fuel their expanding passion.
When Eric and Susanne met in Stockholm, it did not take long for Susanne to fall in love with Eric and the wines he respected. Marriage soon followed, and they continued tasting, savoring, and cellaring wine.
In 2010, Alex Fullerton graduated from the University of Oregon with an Economics degree. Alex and Eric were tasting wine at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, and began discussing home-brewing and the process of fermentation. The conversation led to the idea of Alex making wine. A couple of minutes later, Lynn Penner-Ash entered the room, and Eric asked her how Alex could enter the industry. Coincidentally, a harvest intern had dropped out that morning, and she needed a replacement. The next day Alex was offered a job as an intern, and later became a cellar hand at Penner-Ash. His passion ignited.
Alex next took off to New Zealand to work at Drylands Winery in Marlborough. Although the experience didn’t align with the handcrafted winemaking tradition in Oregon, he came back determined to learn more about growing and production. Penner-Ash welcomed him back again for the 2011 harvest, and he worked the following 2012 harvest at Bergström Wines under winemaker Josh Bergström. Lynn Penner-Ash and Josh Bergström both mentored and inspired Alex, deepening his knowledge of winemaking.
Fullerton Wines began in a garage in 2011. Alex and Eric partnered with their good friend Roger Wallberg and made a few barrels of Pinot Noir. Despite the challenging vintage, the wine impressed and Fullerton Wines was born. Today, Fullerton Wines crafts treasured Willamette Valley wines, focused purely on the Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.