There are a handful of special people, without whom there wouldn't be a Colorado wine industry. Amongst this elite group was lawyer and Plum Creek Cellars Co-founder Doug Phillips, who succumbed to cancer this last summer. It's a tremendous honor that the State of Colorado has chosen to remember Phillips, who was much loved in both the state's legal and wine communities.
Under the headline, "Legislature to Honor Local Pioneering Winemaker," Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Reporter Dave Buchanan writes:
"Nearly seven months to the day after he died, pioneering winemaker Doug Phillips continues to make his mark on Colorado’s wine industry."
"Phillips, founder and co-owner (with his wife Sue) of Plum Creek Cellars in Palisade, will be honored this week with a joint resolution in the state legislature."
"He passed away July 15."
"According to Doug Caskey, executive director of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, the resolution was initiated by Ron Smith, an original member of the Colorado Wine Board and a longtime friend of Phillips’, and by Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, who will speak on the floor of both chambers Thursday in a special ceremony."
"The proclamation honors Phillips not only for his resolute determination to elevate Colorado’s fledgling wine industry to a national level but his groundbreaking work in another field: workers’ compensation law."
"The resolution cites Phillips’ courtroom mastery (many a young attorney quickly learned that Phillips was a formidable courtroom adversary) and said he was a “forceful advocate” for workers seeking just recompense, “avoiding animosity and acrimony” while remaining a “gentleman” in the courtroom."
"Anyone who was getting to know Phillips soon realized he carried the same demeanor and drive to his wine making, whether it was emphasizing the quality of Colorado fruit or boosting the entire industry to heights not yet scaled."
"Always ready with a good story, but never without a critical-but-kind eye on the progress being made around him, Phillips’ had the ability to needle you gently, urging you to do better than you thought possible until you surprised yourself with the end result."
"When Phillips and then-winemaker Erik Bruner started Plum Creek Cellars in 1984, there were fewer than five Colorado wineries. A quick count recently turned up about 72 licensed wineries."
The text of the resolution is available at www.leg.state.co.us. Click on Current Regular Session Information, going to SJR09-008.
You can read the article here.