Washington State may be a fairly new wine-producing region, but several of its wineries have generations of history. Here are a few pioneers who put the state's wines on the map with their high-quality bottlings.
Despite Washington State’s relative youth as a wine-producing region, a number of its wineries have decades of history. Many of them not only helped put Washington on the wine map, but set a high bar for quality.
At the center of several of these wineries are the families that founded them, in some cases, extending to sons, daughters and grandchildren. These operations have continued to grow, adapt and thrive in an ever-changing industry, while simultaneously keeping things all in the family.
Here’s a look at six of Washington’s founding family wineries, and how their pioneering spirit has spread across generations.
Almost immediately after Gary and Nancy Figgins bonded Leonetti Cellar as Walla Walla Valley’s first commercial winery in 1977, it made an impact. The winery’s inaugural Cabernet Sauvignon from the 1978 vintage was named the best in the country by Winestate Wine & Spirits Buying Guide, and graced the national magazine’s cover.
“It gave my dad a pretty good boost of confidence,” says Chris Figgins, who now serves as Leonetti’s president and winemaking director. The recognition not only catapulted the winery into cult status, it was also a key building block in establishing Washington’s reputation as a premier wine growing region. Read More »