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Wednesday, Mar. 07, 2012

Jorgensen leaves, Harvey arrives at Bergevin Lane

Bergevin Lane Vineyards announced that longtime Washington winemaker Dave Harvey will be replacing Steffan Jorgensen at their Walla Walla winery.

Harvey has spent two decades in the Columbia Valley wine industry, starting in 1988 as an assistant winemaker at Caterina Winery in Spokane and then at Terra Blanca on Red Mountain before taking over the reins at Gordon Brothers, now Gordon Estate. In 2006, he began as head winemaker at Preston Premium Wines in Pasco, Wash.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Bergevin Lane, founded by respected Columbia Valley vineyard manager Gary Bergevin, his daughter Annette Bergevin and managing partner Amber Lane.

"We are very excited about the next chapter in our story," Annette Bergevin told Wine Press Northwest in an email. "Our transition with Steffan was a mutual decision based on his family's desire to reside in Chile. We parted on excellent terms and we will always consider Steffan as part of our family. We wish them the best in their new endeavors."

Jorgensen left for Chile earlier this year in a move that seems bittersweet but driven by family as well as his passion to pursue Syrah and Pinot Noir. He grew up in Denmark, took over for Virginie Bourgue at Bergevin Lane in 2006.

"I will also miss making Washington wines, but it was time for me to move on!" Jorgensen told Wine Press Northwest via email. "Yes I am here full-time now. My wife is from La Serena (gateway to the Elqui Valley) and we have for years been trying to put something together down here which would be 100% our own so an even further commitment to quality could be made."

Bergevin indicated Harvey's arrival also will signal a change in the style of wines at her winery.

"Dave's 20 years of combined vineyard experience and making wine in Washington state means we are in very good hands and we are extremely confident in the quality and consistency moving ahead," she said. "Winemakers are artists with individual expressions of wine. By choosing Dave, we are directing our winemaking efforts towards the style that Bergevin Lane originally started with — balanced, fruit-driven expressions of Washington terroir. We work with some of the best vineyard managers in the state, have planted our own 21 acre "Estate" vineyard and we believe it all translates to 'the best is yet to come!' "

Jorgensen described his move to Chile and the creation of Elqui Wines as a blend of adventure and the realization of a dream.

"Now we finally took the chance and I believe firmly in the quality of the area which is the northern most of all Chilean valleys in this regard. It's also very unexplored, so being part of pioneering the area in a sense appeals to me immensely," he said. "The Syrahs (my ultimate passion) are outstanding here and reminds me some what of Washington Syrahs, although more coastal influenced due the transversal geograpy (very unique). Also Pinot Noir (my other life time passion) will do well here. I think we will be the first to put put a wine concerning this one."

Jorgensen added he will continue to do some consulting at other Washington wineries "so I am not completely out yet..."

Jorgensen's Elqui Wines is available on Twitter via @ELQUIWINES.