paul champoux

Friday, August 07, 2009

A message from Jon Rimmerman (of Garagiste) went out by e-mail late yesterday, with the distressing news that grower Paul Champoux, whose extraordinary grapes are integral and essential to many of this state’s best wines, has been stricken with the West Nile virus. According to Rimmerman, a mosquito bite sometime around the 4th of July suddenly turned flu-like a few weeks later. Paul Champoux was airlifted to Portland when things took a turn for the worse. He lost almost all motor capacity in his legs and arms, and remained in critical condition for some days before finally being stabilized.

I spoke with Charlie Hoppes (of Fidélitas) by phone a few minutes ago and, happily, he tells me that Champoux has recovered enough to be returned to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, where he is undergoing intensive re-hab, as much as eight hours daily. According to Hoppes, there are “incremental increases in getting better, but he’s got a long way to go.”

Let me repeat Rimmerman’s closing thoughts and urge you all to send your prayers and get well cards to this address:

Paul Champoux
Room 341 – Bed 2
Kadlec Medical Center
888 Swift Boulevard
Richland, WA

“Paul’s influence in defining what Washington state cabernet is (and can be) is immeasurable,” Rimmerman writes. “He’s been responsible for the 1st level premium grapes in some of the most admired Washington state wines in history – Quilceda Creek among them. As an analogy, Paul is the Washington State equivalent of someone like David Abreu or Beckstoffer. If you remove Champoux from the mix, many of our state’s cabernet blends would be a shell with a distinct, northern flavor spectrum missing. Our thoughts are with his family tonight.”

I can only add my own sincerest wishes for a full and speedy recovery for Paul Champoux.


1 comment:

Big John said...

Thanks Paul. I should have known you would on top of this painful story. Good wishes to Paul & Judy

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