Introduce Yourself

Snooth User: Jake Pippin

Hello from NYC

Posted by Jake Pippin, Sep 24, 2012.

I haven't introduced myself, so here goes. My name is Jakob Pippin and I am new Wine Mentor on Snooth, many thanks to Constance and Clare for the opportunity. I am a born and raised Oregonian now calling New York City home. My love of wine began while living in Germany and Austria during my junior year of college while studying abroad in 2008. I was fortunate enough to find and meet one of the same winemakers, Weingut Walter Persch of Oberwesel,  my parents had met and befriended 23 years previously. It was a transformative experience and I will never forget it. I began reading all the wine books I could get my hands on, I devoured the information and longed for an opportunity to get my nose out of the book and get my hands dirty.

After returning from Europe I took a job at Sweet Cheeks winery in Eugene during my senior year. It took some work and repeated visits before they hired me. Winemaker Mark Nicholl took my under his wing and guided me through the 2009 harvest and finally gave me the opportunity to get my hands dirty. Between punchdowns, working in the lab, making deliveries and bottling I solidified my love of wine and skillful science and art that goes into transforming perfectly ripe or not so perfectly ripe berries into a bottle of liquid poetry. I spent a year with Sweet Cheeks and then moved on to the restaurant industry to run the wine program at a restaurant in Eugene after I graduated.

However, having an unquenchable desire to travel and explore  I set my sights on moving from Oregon back to the city and New York was where I wanted to land. I have been here nearly a year and a half now, working in the wine industry the whole time. I am continuing to learn, working my way through wine courses with the Court of Master Sommeliers and the WSET and exploring the ins and outs of the wine business from the marketing and education side. I am young and I am eager to learn, explore and travel. Wine is a wonderful connector of worlds and cultures and something that can always bring people together. So I hope it can connect us. Always feel free to drop me a line, ask me a question or follow me on twitter @jakepip.

Pleasure to meet all of you and cheers!


Reply by EMark, Sep 24, 2012.

Jakob, welcome to the Snooth world.  Just to get us started, with what wines, would you say, do you have the most familiarity?  Based on your introductory note, the obvious answer to that is wines of Germany and wines of Oregon, but the obvious answer is often not the true answer. 

Reply by Jake Pippin, Sep 24, 2012.

Thanks EMARK! I am very familiar with Oregon wines particularly from the Willamette Valley as well as Rieslings from Germany and Austria. But I would say I am an expect in the wines of Chile, particularly Carmenere, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. I am also familiar with the wines of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. I love old world wines, but most of my knowledge lies with new world regions. 


Reply by EMark, Sep 24, 2012.

Interesting that you mention Chile.  A few weeks ago, GDP wrote an article on old vine Carignans from Chile.  He indicated that we would not be able to find these wines in retail stores.  I believe he is right.

Reply by Jake Pippin, Sep 25, 2012.

I was at that tasting with GDP actually. He is half right. You can find some of the wines he wrote about in stores, but other you cannot. All the wineries do have an importer, but many are not widely distributed. Puro Wine in New York City is an all Chilean wine store and  they have 2 Carignans in stock at all times, but they can also order many of the wines which GDP wrote about.

Reply by jtryka, Sep 25, 2012.

Welcome to the neighborhood, sounds like you've had an interesting journey.  Having lived a while in the northwest, I would love to hear more about the Okanagan Valley as this is the first I've heard of it!

Reply by Jake Pippin, Sep 26, 2012.

The Okanagan is a mesmerizing extremely diverse valley in south eastern British Columbia. It's about a 5 hour drive from Vancouver and about 4 hours from Spokane, Washington. The largest city there is Kelowna, which does have an airport and you can fly in from Seattle, Edmonton, Vancouver and so on. It lies in the rain shadow of the northern Cascade mountains. The Cascades, along with the 70 mile long Okanagan Lake play a large part in moderating the climate of the 90 mile long valley and creating a perfect home for grapes to thrive.

I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting it and exploring the wineries in 2009. I visited in late September and it was still very hot up there, often topping 80 degrees during the day. What intrigued was the diversity of grapes grown and produced in the valley, along with an amazing amount of fresh vegetables, fruit and peppers. Lots of peppers!

Most of the wineries are centered around Pentiction, Oliver and Okanagan Falls, with the mother-load sitting east of Penticton on the Naramata Bench just above the lake. Most wineries are growing, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay. Really though that just scratches the surface. I visited around 15 wineries when I was there and tasted all sorts of different varieties including: Zweigelt, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Kerner, Auxerrois, Muscat and the list goes on. Some wineries are even producing natural Ice Wine and other late harvest wines.

It is well worth a visit and not terribly expensive, even to fly there. I just looked at flights from JFK to Kelowna (I really want to go back) and they were around $650 round trip.

I hope this is helpful and please let me know if you have other questions.


Jakob Pippin

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