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New vineyard looks to stand out

Embracing marketing techniques, Purple Cow Vineyards moves to Newberg


There are no purple cows, but for the Purple Cow Vineyards, the unusual imagery is a marketing strategy.

Dave Rasmussen, president, related the story: Founding member Jon Armstrong’s 18-month-old daughter had a plastic, purple cow toy. She would shout, “It’s a Purple cow,” knowing they weren’t supposed to be purple. After doing some research, he found there was a marketing book, “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable,” that advised being different, because it makes your business more memorable.

“That’s what Purple Cow is,” Rasmussen said.by: GARY ALLEN - Tasting room opens - Purple Cow Vineyards opened its tasting room last week after relocating to Newberg two months ago. Briana Rogers pours one of many wines crafted at the winery.

The vineyard opened in 2004; two months ago it made the move to Newberg from the Forest Grove area.

Rasmussen was born in Newberg, so when he looked to move further into wine country, it made sense.

“I think it’s the exposure to wine country,” he said. “This area has hundreds of wineries, over there (Forest Grove area), there are maybe 30. It made economic sense.”

So on Sept. 26, Purple Cow opened its tasting room doors.

“The reception for us has been great,” Rasmussen said. “We are looking forward to it.”

The vineyard is taking over the old Newberg Steel building at 105 N. Main St, which Rasmussen said needs a three-phase remodel before the permanent tasting room and production facilities are established in the same building.

Currently, the business is sharing space with Critter Cabana and has built its tasting room in the garage of the building. Once Critter Ca­bana returns to its 516 E. First St. location, Purple Cow will take over the remainder of the building.

“We’re the first winery in downtown,” he said. “This location is a big deal. We have both 99W and Main Street coming up from Carlton.”

He said a recent zoning change allowed the winery to move operations downtown, which he added means others can now follow suit.

Purple Cow specializes in long barrel times, which Rasmussen said can average two or three years, uncommon for the vintages they produce.

“We have 12 to 18 varietals wines,” he said. These range from pinot noir, syrah, petite verdot and muscat, among others.

“We also have an Oregon blend and a Yamhill County blend,” he said.

This year’s vintage might be down a little bit in volume, he said, but they’ve already harvested quite a bit and are just riding out the storm.

“The birds love it because they’re eating half the crop,” Rasmussen said. “But we’re actually very fortunate in the valley, we don’t get it very extreme.”

The winery started as a hobby.

“But then friends and family want wine; in order to do so you need to be commercial,” he said.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in December. For now, the tasting room is open Sunday through Wed­nes­day, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, visit www.purplecowvineyards.com.



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