Vineyard Shot


Accolades for Forgeron Cellars

Marie-Eve Gilla's Entrepreneurial, Free Spirit Inspires Writer Rob Bhatt on his Blog

"The words themselves seem to echo the type of sentiments that you might hear from many of the free-spirited entrepreneurs that make up Washington’s wine industry, but Gilla’s native Burgundian accent give them a unique lilt—just one of her distinguishing features..."

"When Marie-Eve Gilla (above) opened Walla Walla’s Forgeron Cellars with a group of investors in 2001, there were only about 170 wineries in the entire state of Washington. Most produced the same three varietals—cabernet sauvignon, merlot and chardonnay—and there was only one real college-level winemaking program—in the country.

"What a difference a decade makes. The number of wineries in Washington now exceeds 700. Winemaking institutes are opening up and down the West Coast and elsewhere, and Washington’s vineyards now cultivate more than 30 varietals. These range in quantity from the 5,992 acres of chardonnay grown throughout the Columbia Valley to the roughly five acres of white grenache planted at Boushey Vineyards near Grandview.

"This latter varietal seemed to be the apple of Gilla’s eye during a recent informal lunch at Seattle’s 35th Street Bistro as we discussed one of her newest creations, a blend of the white Rhone varietals roussanne, viognier and white grenache called Ambiance. Viognier and roussanne have become widely available throughout the state in recent years, but Gilla says the white grenache virtually fell into her lap in 2009 when a different Boushey client decided that he didn’t need the vintner’s entire supply of the grape. Gilla used it to add food-friendly acidity to the fruity characteristics of its companion varietals when she created the blend. (The 2009 Ambiance was released last January, and a 2010 version is in the works.)..."

For the rest of the entry, please visit Rob Bhatt's blog.