Friday, April 1, 2011
Bledsoe and his wine business
By Mike Reiss
Former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe has been in the news lately as he is in his first year of eligibility for the Patriots Hall of Fame. He is viewed by some as the strongest candidate in this year's field.
"When you look at facing retirement in your mid-30s, and all of a sudden the outlet for that passion and work ethic goes away, you can't just sit back in a rocking chair and be retired at 35," Bledsoe says in the piece. "I'm not a good enough golfer to play golf every day."
Bledsoe is now calling the shots for his Doubleback wine label in his hometown of Walla Walla, located in southeast Washington.
As Bledsoe's interest in wine swelled during his NFL career, he and his wife, Maura, decided to go all-in. They made that 80-acre purchase for $400,000 and planted 50 acres at $20,000 per acre without a winemaker, label or name. "We took a ready, fire, aim approach initially," Bledsoe said of the foray initiated by the land purchase.
The decision to start the vineyard in that section of the country comforted Bledsoe. What makes southeastern Washington such good wine country is its terroir (pronounced "tay-wah") -- a combination of the region's soil, climate and other environmental factors that make it optimal for growing grapes.