WINSTON — After 30 years of teaching and research, Greg Jones is moving out of the classroom and the study labs and into the vineyard and winery.
Jones was named the CEO of Abacela two weeks ago. The announcement was made by his parents, Earl and Hilda Jones and Abacela’s board of directors. Earl and Hilda Jones founded the vineyard and winery in the early 1990s.
Greg Jones, with a Ph.D. in environmental sciences, has been an atmospheric scientist and viticultural climatologist. He has done research and taught at the University of Virginia, Southern Oregon University in Ashland and Linfield University in McMinnville. His research has connected climate change to biological changes in grapevines. His work has produced information used in the wine industry around the world.
“This transition fulfills a long-term objective of family succession,” Earl Jones said in a statement. “Greg is a dynamic leader with creative energy who understands the local, regional and global wine industries which makes him uniquely suited to carry on our family business.”
Greg Jones, 62, said there had been past discussions about him joining the company and becoming more involved in the vineyard and winery just west of Winston. The addition of Greg Jones and of Gavin Joll as general manager in early 2020 will allow Earl Jones to ease out of some of his management responsibilities.
“We want to continue my dad’s very strong wine focus and help drive the business forward in the future,” Greg Jones said. “I am proud to come to Abacela to continue the pursuit of science and quality wine production that has been in place for the last 26 years.
“I’ve always had a connection to wine and the culmination of everything I’ve done has led me to this place,” he added.
Hilda Jones said in a statement that she has confidence Greg has the ability “to move Abacela forward with the core values that we established through honoring our customers and employees, our environmental stewardship and building strong communities.”