Elsom Cellars: PSBJ 40 Under 40 Award

by Shona Milne on August 5, 2011

The Puget Sound Business Journal has named its 2011 40 Under 40 honorees, including Woodinville native Jody Elsom for her local winery, Elsom Cellars. Of the 40 honorees, Jody Elsom is the only winemaker on the list, making this award even more special for the local Woodinville Wine Country.

“I was thrilled and honored to receive the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 2011 40 Under 40 Award,”
said Jody in a recent interview. “Elsom Cellars has been a lifelong dream of mine, brought to life through many years of hard work, dedication, and a never-ending passion and love for creating great wine.”

Winners of this award are those who are center stage in our business community, working hard to drive the economy and demonstrating dynamic leadership. “The region’s business community is globally renowned for its innovation and creativity, and based on the accomplishments of this year’s prestigious 40 Under 40 roster, whose reputation will continue for years to come,” said Gordon Prouty, publisher of the Business Journal.

Elsom Cellars consists of a production facility and tasting room, where guests can not only sample Jody’s award-winning wines, but also see the barrels and hands that bring the wine to life. Jody personally visits the vineyards each season to oversee the growing season and collect the grapes. She then hand-sorts them at the Woodinville facility, and blends them with her small team, most of whom are involved through personal dedication and volunteer hours. Together they create wines that are sustainable, handmade, and local to the community where Jody grew up and now lives. Although its first commercial release was just in 2006, the winery has received a handful of prestigious awards, including a Gold for the 2008 Lewis Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and a Silver for their 2007 Malbec from the Seattle Wine Awards. Most recently, the 2008 Malbec was named by Seattle Magazine as one of 2011’s 10 best new Washington wines.

Having recently returned from Eastern Washington to meet with vineyard farmers, Jody not only has a new vintage preparing for harvest, but is also working on plans to revive The Vineyard Table. Originally located in Seattle, The Vineyard Table is a unique extension of Elsom Cellars that includes an event venue and world-class catering to pair with her wines. The rebirth of The Vineyard Table in its new Woodinville location in 2012 will increase Elsom Cellars’ participation and commitment to the local, sustainable movement. Through The Vineyard Table, Elsom Cellars will be partnering with Seattle’s up-and-coming adventurous chefs, farmers and foodies, helping lead the community to embrace the importance of sustainability, social awareness, and a holistic approach to food and wine.

And if the winery business wasn’t enough, Jody also received the 40 Under 40 award for her other business venture, Project Planning Partners, where her and her team work with a variety of organizations to help them with their project management, strategic planning, and operational goals. Jody claims Elsom Cellars’ success to the growth and achievements of Project Planning Partners, without which her dream of starting a winery would not be possible.

“Whether you’re building a consulting business, being an active member of the community, embracing sustainability, or sharing great food with great friends over a great bottle of Elsom Cellars wine, I believe it does indeed take a village,” says Jody. “Without the support and dedication of friends, family, and our local community, Elsom Cellars would not be where it is today. Thank you!”

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