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Meet our Team: Casey Chamberlin

 

Casey Chamberlin and Susanne Fullerton
Susanne Fullerton and Casey Chamberlin

 

You aren’t originally from Oregon. How did you land in Portland?

I landed in PDX to finish my degree at PSU in 19th Century American History and European Philosophy. I took a year to establish my residency first, and fished for steelhead and salmon almost daily. The lure of Oregon had me from then on. Once in school here, I occasionally crashed classes about the nature of the Pacific Northwest, waterways, ecology, and history. This led me to wine country and my first Oregon Pinots dating back to the 2000 vintage.

What stokes your fire outside of wine?

Obviously fishing, but also backpacking, disc golf, nearly all sports (especially basketball), mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing, the pursuit of culinary excellence, and everything outdoors. Rain or shine.

My spouse, Falon Chamberlin, is a guiding star. Hailing from Yonkers NY, she successfully served as maitre d’ at a wildly popular restaurant in the Hudson Valley for four years. With a diverse background in music theater and jazz singing, she now works for Vitaly Paley Hospitality as Sales Director for Headwaters and Imperial/Crown. Her love of white Burgundy has quickly enamored her to the Fullerton’s stunning, nervy Chardonnays from the Willamette Valley. Falon is the most thoughtful, kind, and respectful person one could hope for in a partner. I am forever thankful our paths crossed.

What “set the hook” for you with wine?

The wine bug crept up on me as I grew more involved in the management of restaurants, exposure to better wine, and learning how wine plays a role in great cuisine. After moving to New York’s Hudson Valley, I was rudely awakened to the fact that I didn’t know that much about wine beyond what I drank. This led me to learn more in one of the best markets in the world for fine wine, New York. My wine mentor, Billy Rattner, took me under his wing and instilled in me a belief that I had a future in wine, a palate for wine, and the drive to excel at sharing this with people. The journey included trade groups, massive portfolio tastings in NYC, frequent winemaker dinners from world class producers, and getting to know fine wine collectors. Ultimately, the intersection of history and wine enabled me to anchor my wine knowledge in something bigger. The rest is . . . history. Sharing the stories and histories of wine and wine regions makes wine infinitely special and meaningful to me.

When do you “flow” in your work at Fullerton Wines?

I’m in my element with Fullerton Wines when I connect with people about the importance of wine in our culture and how wine speaks to the state of our society. The intersection of land, climate, and history, and weaving that narrative into our story at Fullerton Wines, gives me meaning and joy. The Fullertons’ own story draws me in, and sharing that draw and connection with people creates authentic bonds that move beyond the transactional. Teaching and sharing these wines with people is beyond special to me, and I trust my passion resonates.

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