Winemaker: Marie-Eve Gilla
Blending an Old World perspective with the pioneering spirit of Walla Walla, we create substantial wine of eloquent American character - with just a hint of French accent!
Now a United States citizen, Marie-Eve was born in Paris, growing up in France's food and wine culture. She earned her Diplome National d'Oenologie (Masters) at the University of Dijon, gaining practical experience and training in Burgundy's wineries and vineyards. Arriving in the United States in 1991, she worked at Argyle, Covey Run, Hogue and Gordon Brothers. She brought her extensive experience and knowledge to Walla Walla in 2001 where she is Forgeron Cellars' Founding Winemaker & Managing Partner. Marie-Eve Gilla is married to Gilles Nicault, Director of Winemaking & Viticulture at Long Shadows where he works alongside some of the world's greatest winemakers.
In 2013 Marie-Eve was inducted into the Seattle Chapter of the prestigious Les Dames d'Escoffier International, an invitational organization of women leaders in food, beverage, & hospitality whose mission is supporting women through education, advocacy, & philanthropy.
"During the past 20 years, I have devoted my time researching and establishing relationships with the best growers from Washington State. My training in Burgundy has prepared me to deal with adverse growing conditions such as cool and wet ripening season but fortunately it is much easier to grow grapes in Eastern Washington, where little precipitation (6-8 inches per year), and warm long days in summer, allow for full ripening of the grapes. Being a firm believer in the philosophy that great wines are made in the vineyard, I craft my wines by sourcing grapes from unique sites located in warm locations such as the Walhuke Slope and Red Mountain for intensity and ripeness, as well as cooler sites, like the Columbia Gorge and Yakima Valley for complexity and freshness."
Forgeron Cellars contracts with vineyards strategically located throughout the large Columbia Valley appellation and smaller appellations within including Walla Walla, Yakima, Horse Heaven Hills & Wahluke Slope. Our focus: reflect the quality of grapes from the best sites to reveal the full potential of Washington State vineyards.
Our green philosophy: Forgeron Cellars believes it is our responsibility to serve you the highest quality products while preserving natural resources and advocating social stability for future generations. Marie-Eve personally has a passion to live sustainably and minimize her carbon footprint, a concept instilled by her European upbringing, a practice that she maintains in her life and business. Sustainable viticulture is ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially supportive. Forgeron Cellars strives to employ sustainable practices in every aspect of winemaking, from the vineyard to your glass. Forgeron bottles are made with 25% less glass than the average wine bottle. All of our glass is made in the US, so we don’t need to ship it from overseas, reducing carbon dioxide emissions in transport. All of our labels are also printed in the US.
Sustainable vineyards: Sustainability starts in the vineyard and carries through to the winery; we source from well-established vineyards with respectable growers who use sustainable winegrowing practices
Social sustainability: We will show concern for and sensitivity toward the environment and include the well being of our employees in the vineyard and winery.
Economic Sustainability: We have a comprehensive business plan to ensure the business is supporting itself, the owners and the employees in the long-termTweet
Underwood Mountain Vineyard
The climate is reminiscent of Alsace & yields great, cooler climate grapes.
Horse Heaven HIlls
Alder Ridge Vineyard
A little piece of heaven with an endless breathtaking view, a beautiful source for our famous Zinfandel!
Located on the western edge of Red Mountain on southwestern facing slopes overlooking the Yakima River.
Bound by the Columbia River & the Saddle Mountains, on the Wahluke Slope, StoneTree Vineyard produces some of the highest quality wine grapes in Washington.
Walla Walla Valley
Forgeron Cellars sources the beautiful Viognier we use in our Façon Blanc White Rhône Blend from Francisca's.
Located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains at the 1200 foot level, Norm and Shane McKibben started planting in 2001. The soil produces unique flavor characteristics, even in young fruit.
Minnick Hills Vineyard, planted in 2000, is owned & operated by the Minnick family, 5th generation farmers. Located just South of the acclaimed Spring Valley Vineyard, Minnick Hills is certified Salmon-Safe & follows sustainable LIVE (Low Input Viticulture & Enology) certification requirements.
Pepper Bridge Vineyard combines cutting-edge technology and sustainable agricultural to produce supple, elegant fruit which melds perfectly with our winemaking style.
Ten miles south & west of Pepper Bridge Vineyard, the soils at Seven Hills Vineyard are predominantly wind-blown glacial Loess that is geologically very young & mineral-rich.