History & Geography
After 20 years building Chateau Ste. Michelle and its affiliate wineries into an international brand, 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. He 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, and found the perfect fit with Gilles Nicault. After Gilles was hired, Allen recruited a veritable who's who of winemakers: Randy Dunn (Napa), John Duval (Australia), Michel Rolland (France), Philippe Melka and Agustin Huneeus, Sr. (Napa), Armin Diel (Germany) and Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari (Italy). To accommodate each winemaker's own techniques and requirements, a world-class winery was designed and built, capable of making wine to each winemaker's rigorous specifications.