Vineyard Shot

Wine Making

Marie-Eve Gilla

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."

Vineyards

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.

Columbia Gorge

Underwood Vineyard
Underwood Mountain Vineyard

The climate is reminiscent of Alsace & yields great, cooler climate grapes.

Horse Heaven HIlls

Alder Ridge overlooking the Columbia River
Alder Ridge Vineyard

A warm site on the north side of the Columbia River across from Boardman OR, the vines grow on a south-facing slope. It is a little piece of heaven with an endless breathtaking view, a beautiful source for our famous Zinfandel!

Red Mountain

Klipsun Vineyard
Klipsun Vineyard

Klipsun Vineyard is located on the western edge of Red Mountain on southwestern facing slopes overlooking the Yakima River.

Wahluke Slope

StoneTree Vineyard

Bound by the Columbia River & the Saddle Mountains, this wine-growing region known as the Wahluke Slope, has produced some of the highest quality wine grapes in Washington.

Walla Walla Valley

Les Collines Vineyard
Les Collines

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

Minnick Hills, 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
Pepper Bridge

Pepper Bridge Vineyard combines cutting-edge technology and sustainable agricultural to produce some of Washington's most sought-after grapes. This vineyard produces supple, elegant fruit which melds perfectly with our winemaking style.

Seven Hills Vineyard
Seven Hills

Ten miles south & west of Pepper Bridge Vineyard, the soils at Seven Hills are predominantly  wind-blown glacial Loess that is geologically very young & mineral-rich.

Yakima Valley

Marie and Dick laughing in the vineyard
Boushey Vineyards

Dick Boushey produces some of the finest wine grapes in Washington & we proudly source from 3 of his vineyards.