We had the good fortune of connecting with Dave & Lois Cho and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dave & Lois, how do you think about risk?
Risk is something Dave and I are very familiar with. Seven years ago, we left our stable jobs and families in southern California to move to Corvallis, Oregon site unseen to pursue a career in winemaking. Dave had been working as a restaurant manager and lab tech in Temecula, CA and tossed out this crazy idea on one of our road trips to Napa that we would quit both our jobs and leave our support systems with a 10 month old to pursue this dream of one day owning our own winery. It may have been the long hours on the road, the wine, the ambience of the vineyards, but we were crazy enough to quit our jobs and move to Oregon within a few months. Dave hadn’t even been accepted into Oregon State University’s Enology & Viticulture program. We knew this was a risk leaving the life we had created, but if there wasn’t a backup plan, we’d have to forge full throttle to make it work one way or another. Either sink or swim.
Fast forward six years later to 2020 after an enology & viticulture degree, three kids, and years of experience later, we made the difficult decision to move back to southern California looking to be closer to family and sun, as Lois had struggled with seasonal depression. It was the first time Dave hadn’t been tied down to a winery job. He was at a crossroads as to whether he should get another wine job or turn this side winemaking hustle into a full hustle, like we had initially dreamed.
Taking risks needs to be an informed decision. You assess the risk and potential losses, but when you make the decision to take the leap, you don’t turn back. As long as you’re fully invested, you roll with the punches, meet each problem head on, and troubleshoot along the way. The moment we decided to start our own business came when we felt our preparation met opportunity during the midst of the pandemic, and we haven’t turned back.
Often times, taking risks means staying true to your values. It took a lot of back and forth deciding on a name for our wine business. To bear our last name CHO on our label was and is a risk that we felt was necessary to embrace our identity and stay true to ourselves.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Yes, Cho is our last name, but to us the name C-H-O symbolizes the celebration of our commonality. It became very evident during Dave’s early chemistry classes that his last name was in nearly every chemical equation.
All living matter predominantly consists of the most basic elements – carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (CHO). The basic elements of the food and beverages we share at our table, the people we share it with, remind us that we are all intricate makings of these very rudimentary elements.
Our vision is for a table where our unique differences can be respected and celebrated, while embracing our commonalities during our relatively short time on earth.
We are a Korean-American husband and wife duo with three kids, balancing bistate living (Oregon and California), committed to making high quality Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and sparkling wine. Our inaugural release of six different iterations of Pinot Noir was launched during the spring. Check us out at getchowines.com and follow us on our socials (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our story begins and continues at the table – the table where people gather to share food and drink over the birth of a child, the departing of a loved one, and all of life in between. We want to recognize everyone with whom we’ve shared a meal or drink.
Other: Follow our personal Instagram journey https://www.instagram.com/notyouraveragecho
Ashley Bee Photography