Walla Walla, WA
After 20 years building Chateau Ste. Michelle and its affiliate wineries into an international brand, Washington wine visionary Allen Shoup had a new vision: to create a group of ultra-premium wines, each with an exceptional international winemaker, working together to elevate Washington wine to true world-class status. The result is Long Shadows Vintners and some of Washington’s most acclaimed wines.
Allen knew the ambitious project would need a director of winemaking who was highly knowledgeable and flexible enough to help the collaborating winemakers realize their vision. Allen tapped Gilles Nicault for the job. Gilles—a French native—carried with him an impressive résumé, at the time working as winemaker for Woodward Canyon, one of Washington’s premier wineries.
With Gilles’ position secured, Allen recruited a veritable who’s who of winemakers: Randy Dunn (Napa, Feather Cabernet Sauvignon), John Duval (Australia, Sequel Syrah), Philippe Melka and Agustin Huneeus, Sr. (Napa, Pirouette Red Wine), Michel Rolland (France, Pedestal Merlot), Armin Diel (Germany, Poet’s Leap Riesling), and father-and-son winemakers Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari (Italy, Saggi Red Wine). Since the beginning Gilles has served as director of winemaking and viticulture, overseeing the production of all labels, and recently assumed the winemaking duties for Poet’s Leap and Saggi in the style of their original winemakers.
Recruiting winemakers from around the world, each to produce a single Columbia Valley wine representing a “best of type,” was only half of the plan. Allen knew each winemaker would come with their own winemaking techniques and requirements, so a world-class winery was designed and built, capable of making wine to each winemaker’s rigorous specifications. The results were almost immediate. Acclaim for the wines and for the project followed, and in 2007, just four short years from its inception, Food & Wine Magazine named Long Shadows “Winery of the Year.” Since then Long Shadows has continued to produce highly-sought-after and highly-acclaimed examples of the best Washington can produce.
Over the years, Gilles and Allen have experimented with small quantities of uniquely styled wines for their personal and family enjoyment. A few of these wines became too good not to share with their “extended family” and now are available with Long Shadows’ other current releases. They include Dance Chardonnay, Cymbal Sauvignon Blanc, and Julia’s Dazzle Rosé.
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WARNING: DRINKING DISTILLED SPIRITS, BEER, COOLERS, WINE AND OTHER ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES MAY INCREASE CANCER RISK, AND, DURING PREGNANCY, CAN CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS.