Gavin Joll, a native Oregonian and graduate of Willamette University, has been hired by Abacela Winery as its new general manager.

Joll has worked in the wine industry since 2004, including 13 years as the general manager of White Rose Estate in the Dundee Hills.

“I’ve long admired Abacela and the Joneses for their commitment to innovation and quality,” Joll said in a prepared statement. “I am honored to support the continued success of this unique and trusted Oregon brand and am excited to work with the talented and dedicated members of the Abacela team.”

Abacela’s 76-acre estate vineyards are located in the Umpqua Valley at 12500 Lookingglass Road, Roseburg. The company says it is known for its role in pioneering Tempranillo and Albariño wines in North America.

Joll will take on this leadership role using his experience and expertise to oversee the vineyards, wine production, marketing, sales, hospitality and business operations for the brand. Earl and Hilda will remain as CEO and CFO of Abacela, respectively, and continue their management of the remaining estate lands and facilities.

“Gavin’s experience will help us grow Abacela’s quality reputation with consumers on a regional and national scale,” Abacela CFO Hilda Jones said.

The Joneses acquired the 500-acre property in 1992 and, three years later, began planting what is now 76 acres of grape varieties. This year, Abacela celebrates its 25th anniversary of winegrowing.

PPP funds helping local businessesMoney from the Paycheck Protection Program is flowing into Oregon in record numbers.

The PPP is part of the CARES Act passed by Congress to provide immediate financial relief to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows U.S. businesses with 500 or fewer employees to obtain a low-interest loan worth 125% of their total payroll for two months, up to $10 million dollars.

Businesses can have the loan forgiven if the money was used to keep their workers employed. Congress initially approved $349 billion in PPP funding and another $300 billion has been discussed.

“Our top priority is to help as many small businesses as possible survive this crisis and keep their workers employed,” said David Adamson, VP, Sr. Commercial Relationship Manager for Umpqua Bank’s Roseburg Community Banking Center. “We worked around the clock to get our PPP process in place by the April 3 go-live date, and Umpqua was the first bank on the West Coast to do so. The response and need have been overwhelming — we received roughly 6,500 applications in the first 24 hours.”

Umpqua Bank said it was able to move roughly 6,800 applications, representing $1.45 billion in funding, through to approval before the initial $350 billion had all been committed. For perspective, that’s about 10 times the value of SBA loans Umpqua Bank said it might ordinarily approve in an entire year, in just two weeks.

To do that, they created teams to support the PPP process and had staff and volunteers work nights and weekends.

Bank officials said they don’t know how much Paycheck Protection Program money has gone to Douglas County businesses.

OLCCP moves opening times upPeople wishing to buy beer, wine and cider may now do so at 6 a.m., an hour earlier than had previously been allowed, after a change in the rules by the the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

The change was intended to older shoppers and people with underlying medical conditions, the OLCC said in a statement last week announcing the move.

Some grocery stores have been accommodating Oregonians vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus by opening their doors as early as 6 a.m. for these high-risk shoppers, the OLCC said.

“Many of this segment of shoppers were unaware that sales of alcoholic beverages could start no earlier than 7 a.m. and complained to grocers and their elected representatives,” the agency said in its announcement. “The OLCC heard concerns that vulnerable populations wanting to purchase beer, wine, and cider were faced with choosing to make multiple trips to the store, or shopping when there were more customers present, thus putting these populations at higher risk.”

Scott Carroll can be reached at or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

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