' Fullerton Wines - Winemaker

Winemaker

Alex Fullerton at Apolloni Vineyard in the Willamette Valley

 

The phone rang. Alex Fullerton’s preschool teacher was on the line. “Is everything alright at home?” she inquired.

“Why. . . yes. Why do you ask?” responded Susanne, Alex’s mother.

“Alex keeps swirling his milk and spilling it. I’m concerned about him.”

After swirling his way through his childhood and adolescence, Alex Fullerton officially started his career in wine working as a cellar hand for Penner-Ash Wine Cellars and Bergström Wines. He came into the world of winemaking with scientific curiosity and a deep appreciation for wine's ability to transcend language, culture, and place. His family’s journeys through Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, and other Old World regions instilled a deep respect for the art and culture of wine and winegrowing. Alex first learned the winemaking process through hands-on work in the winery, and by asking mentors like Josh Bergström and Lynn Penner-Ash an uncountable number of questions about tending vines and making wine.

Alex is currently finishing his viticulture and enology degree at Oregon State University. Having already developed a substantial understanding of wine production, he has taken full advantage of his time in the classroom to further explore the art and science of winemaking. “I am able to delve deeper into the subject because of my experience, and am able to more confidently focus on topics that interest or challenge me.” He strives to achieve a balance between his first-hand experience and his classroom knowledge in order to make authentic, age-worthy wines that profoundly speak the language of this place—the Willamette Valley.

Stylistically, Alex crafts elegant, distinctive, and age-worthy wines with lively acidity, graceful tannins, and a tight core of fruit, accompanied by secondary notes of earth and spice.

Alex's winemaking philosophy emanates from his respect for vineyard sites. He works as a guide, helping the grapevines produce concentrated, balanced, and healthy fruit. As with many things, Alex believes less is more. Grapes can make wine naturally, with a little help from yeast of course. This reality, in conjunction with his experience tasting hundreds of fermentations (both inoculated and spontaneous), guides Alex toward a preference for spontaneous fermentations. Additionally, Alex eschews fining, therefore making wines that are also vegan-friendly. Alex will cross-flow filter select wines that benefit from the process.

Alex produces profound and elegant wines that reflect the vineyard and the vintage. His style also enables the wines to evolve gracefully over time, and pair beautifully with food.

 

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