This interview is with Chris Butler and Draga Zheleva of Liska Wine Company. In this interview, Chris and Draga speak about their separate paths before meeting at UC Davis and then heading into the wine world together. Harvests in Germany and Australia gave them a variety of experiences, but a desire for cool climate grapes and a welcoming wine industry brought them to Oregon.
They take us through their various stops in Oregon before starting Liska, a brand devoted to acid-driven cool-climate varietals. Chris talks about his work as the assistant winemaker at Cristom, and Draga speaks about her artwork which has become the signature look for the brand. They also talk about juggling graduate school, work, a small child and a new brand, and about what comes next.
This interview was conducted by Rich Schmidt at Cristom Vineyards in Salem on March 30, 2023.