World Consulting, presented three seminars at he Safe, Orderly and Caring Schools Confer- ence and the Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps Conference sponsored by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. • W. Blaine Hawkins (' 67 BSBA) of Charlotte has been elected to the board of trustees of Norwich University in Northfield,Vt. Hawkins also has been appointed to serve on the board of equalization and review for Mecklenburg County. • George Lester Little Jr. (' 67 JD) of Winston-Salem, a lawyer with Kilpatrick Stockton LLP practicing antitrust law, has been amed one of the 2005 Legal Elite by Business NO I,th Carolina.
Wine & Spirits magazine calls Harry Peterson-Nedry ' 69 one of the 50 most
influential winemakers in the world. The Oregon
winemaker has been a force in the Willamette
Valley's emergence as the newest world-class
wine region in the U.S. He's founder and co-owner of the Chehalem Winery, which makes
cool-climate versions of pinot noir, pinot gris
and Riesling that compare favorably to those
from Germany and France,
But unlike so many of Europe's great producers, Peterson-Nedry doesn't come from a
line of winemakers. He doesn't even come from
a line of wine drinkers. His dad was a chicken-and-cattle farmer, and his mom taught school
in Leland. They were Southern Baptists who
trained his palate toward sweet iced tea; Peterson-Nedry didn't taste alcohol until the end of
his senior year at Carolina. (Beer, naturally.)
So how'd he end up in the oppOSite corner
of the country, making wine that scores above
90 in Wine Spectator, wine his beloved aunt
still won't allow on the home place during the
family reunion? Well, by giving up on a career
Peterson-Nedry, a chemist with a poet's
heart, double-majored in chemistry and English.
His first job, producing batteries at Union Carbide to be used in the Vietnam War, excused
him from the draft but left him disenchanted.
"I decided to take my savings and look for a
place to write, purely, write the great American
novel," he says. "It was either going to be the
Canary Islands or the Pacific Northwest."
He put an ad in the Seattle newspapers:
"Looking for long-term residence in the NW
mountains." But one year in someone's summer
cabin in Index, Wash., banging out short stories,
poems and chapters on an electric typewriter,
just left him broke. He says he was too afraid of
rejection to submit anything for publication,
though he'd had a story in the carolina Quarterly
May / Jun e 2006
Boyd Rolla Garber (' 67 BSMAT), 59, of
Lutz, Fla.; Oct. 24, 2005. Lutz worked for
several software companies. He served in the Air
Force and, at UNC, was in the Air Force
ROTC. . David Samuel Gray ill (' 67
MAT), 65, of Marion; Aug. 13,2005. Gray was
employed by the N. C. Department of Cultural
Resources. • Michael Stephen Gray (' 67
AB), 64, of Oceanside, N. Y; Oct. 3, 2005. At
UNC, Gray was a member of Delta Upsilon.
• Virginia Anne Weldon (' 67 ABED), 60, of
Durham; Dec. 7, 2005. Weldon taught mathe-
matics at Northern High School and Carring-
as an undergrad. In 1974, he returned to science
and what would be two decades of jobs in the
high-tech industry in and around Portland, Ore.
With the help of a good salary, Peterson-Nedry discovered fine wine. In 1979, he decided
to try making it.
Harry Peterson-Nedry ' 69 puts his knowledge of chemistry
and love of literature Into his work as a wlnemaker.
"I discovered there was a burgeoning industry" in the Willamette Valley, he says, fingering a
worn Carolina signet ring. "It was at the time just
seven or eight years since the earliest vines had
been planted. I had to dabble in it, since I
appreciated wines and I knew my technical ability was equivalent to anybody else's in the
industry, if not superior."
He bought some hillside land being used to
grow hay and walnuts and planted vines there
instead. "Wine came back to save me," the
romantic says. But the chemist in him also
found satisfaction in the winemaking. He took
ton Middle School for the Durham County
Schools. She was a reserve officer with the
Durham County Sheriff's Department and an
active volunteer with the Durham County
Animal Protection Society. At UNC, she
belonged to Kappa Kappa Ganu11a. ' 68 C. Boyden Gray (' 68]D) of
Brussels, Belgium, has been nominated to serve as the U.S. repre-
sentative to the European Union.
Eunice Miller Brock (' 68 MSLS) and
Samuel Hays Magill ('50AB) of Chapel Hill.
his juice into the lab,
applying techniques from other
industries, such as near-
infrared spectroscopy, to
understand and optimize the chemical reactions that turn grape juice into great vino.
In 1995, five years after the first Chehalem
vintage, he quit his day job. He now works at
the winery and flies all over the world to help
market Chehalem wines, to advocate for the
Willamette Valley and to lobby wine industry
issues he's paSSionate about (such as the right
to ship wine directly to customers without going
through a distributor).
The scientist is still refining his winemaking,
He made Chehalem one of the first fine winer-ies to use screw tops on its bottles to prevent
flavor damage from a chemical compound
often found in natural cork.
For now, his literary side finds an outlet in
the winery newsletter, popular with Chehalem
aficionados. (Of the Riesling grape varietal, he
wrote, "Riesling is a dancer, a Mia Hamm.")
It seems Peterson-Nedry has found the right
blend, "Life is good in the winemaking business," he says. "You can make a heck of a lot
more money in other things, because it's a
major capital investment. But it's a genera-tional business as far as I'm concerned."
In fact, his 2!>-year~ld daughter, Wynne, will
likely join him at Chehalem. She has an enology degree from the University of California,
Davis. Peterson-Nedry recalls when the two represented Oregon at a pinot gris symposium in
Germany. Their hosts were the 16th and 17th
generations of a German winemaking family.
"Should she join me, we will be the first and
second generation of our winemaking family."
And if the newsletter writing ever fails to satisfy, there's probably a novel in all of that somewhere.
- Bryan Gi/mer