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Marie-Eve Featured in 2014-2015's "Essential Guide Spokane-Coeur D'Alene-Walla Walla"

"In the Walla Walla wine industry, a woman's place is in the cellar, in the vineyard, and in the CEO's chair."

Andy Perdue, Great Northwest Wine, 2014




Walla Walla Wine Women

"IN the Walla Walla wine industry, a woman's place is in the cellar, in the vineyard, and in the CEO's chair.

The Valley has Washington largest concentration of wineries with about 130 producers. At least a dozen women own wineries or are head winemakers. Many, many more are involved as assistant winemakers, marketers, viticulturists, and tasting room managers.

Debbie Hansen, winemaker and co-owner of Cougar Crest Winery [explains], 'In the Walla Walla Valley or in Washington, it's just not an issue,' she said. 'It doesn't create any hurdles that I need to overcome. It's a physical job, but as long as you work hard and do your job, you earn respect.'

Here is a look a look at some of the women playing key roles in the Walla Walla Valley wine industry...

Marie-Eve Gilla, Forgeron Cellars: A native of Burgundy, Gilla learned winemaking while attending the famed University of Dijon. She came to Washington in the 1990s, working as head winemaker for Gordon Brothers near Pasco before arriving at Forgeron Cellars in 2001, where she is Head Winemaker and Managing Partner. She is married to Gilles Nicault, a Frenchman who is director of winemaking and viticulture at Long Shadows Vintners in Walla Walla..."

Andy Perdue, Great Northwest Wine, 2014