Wine Panel Presentations and Tastings
Friday, June 14, 2019 | 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Location: Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center
Address: 6 West Rose Street, Walla Walla, WA
Ticket Price: $65
Experience a rare opportunity to compare and share the wines of the Walla Walla Valley with other internationally acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions. This panel is made up of Walla Walla Valley winemakers along with winemakers from around the world. Attendees will sample Cabernet Sauvignon from all producers represented on the panel.
meet the panel
General Manager & Head Winemaker | Abeja | Walla Walla Valley
Daniel Wampfler is Abeja’s head winemaker and general manager. He is responsible for winemaking and oversees vineyard operations, including management of Abeja’s Heather Hill and Mill Creek estate vineyards.
Prior to joining Abeja, Dan spent eight years as head winemaker for Dunham Cellars where he managed all aspects of grower relations and of winemaking. He came to the Walla Walla Valley after five years with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates where he worked first as a research enologist, then as a red winemaker for Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Canoe Ridge Estate Winery, and later for Columbia Crest.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Dan holds a Master of Science in enology from Michigan State University. In addition to making Abeja’s wines, Dan is winemaker for actor Kyle MacLachlan’s Pursued by Bear label, a position he has held since 2008. He shares winemaking responsibilities at Abeja with his wife Amy Alvarez-Wampfler.
Abeja was founded in 2000 with the goal of growing and producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine: 2015 Heather Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon | Walla Walla Valley | 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Owner & Winemaker | ALUVÉ | Walla Walla Valley
Born and raised in Ohio, JJ Menozzi graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1992 and enjoyed a 23 year “first” career as an F-16 pilot. Kelly, His Academy classmate and bride of 19 years also served as a career Air Force pilot.
Enduring 17 military moves, JJ and Kelly explored many of the world’s great wine regions, including Walla Walla. From Their first visit in 2000, they were captivated by the phenomenal wines and friendly, supportive attitude of the local wine industry.
Despite the Air Force moving them around the world, they returned to the Walla Walla Valley often and eventually purchased property on Mill Creek Road that is now their home, Estate vineyard and winery.
Leveraging the foresight and vision of the early Walla Walla wine pioneers, JJ and Kelly studied at and graduated from the Walla Walla Community College Enology and Viticulture program. Building on that foundation, JJ also completed internships at Dunham Cellars and Figgins Family Wine Estates.
Together, the Menozzi’s fulfilled one dream—serving the country as Air Force pilots — and are thankful for the opportunity to pursue a second dream—cultivating, creating and sharing the wines they love.
Wine: 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon | Walla Walla Valley | 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot
President & Winemaker | Doubleback | Walla Walla Valley
Josh McDaniels was born and raised in Walla Walla and at an early age fell in love with the wine industry. It was at Leonetti Cellar that he first toiled and witnessed the hard work and beauty that goes into creating a premium wine. Josh cultivated his interest in the industry by volunteering at local Walla Walla wineries and making wine of his own even as a young teenager. Winemaking captivated him and prompted his formal education from the Institute of Enology and Viticulture in Walla Walla while, at the same time, continuing to work under his mentor, Chris Figgins of Leonetti. To further his education, Josh interned in Argentina at Paul Hobbs’ Vina Cobos Winery, and took online and extension courses through Washington State University and U.C. Davis.
Upon his return from Argentina, Josh was hired as the Assistant Winemaker for FIGGINS where he continued with Leonetti, TOIL Oregon, and Doubleback production. Josh managed wine production for Figgins Family Wine Estates before moving into the role of Doubleback’s Resident Winemaker after almost a decade. Josh is now the President & Director of Winemaking for Doubleback and its sister project, Bledsoe Family Winery. He has been named a “Game Changer of Washington Wine” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and is eagerly working alongside Drew and Maura Bledsoe to take Doubleback to new heights.
Wine: 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon | Walla Walla Valley | 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec, 4% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot
Winemaker & General Manager | Chimney Rock Winery | Napa Valley
A native of São Paulo, Elizabeth Vianna spent her early years in a bi-cultural journey moving from Brazil to the United States and back several times. Elizabeth attributes her career in winemaking to a glass of 1985 Sociando Mallet, which she enjoyed at a pre-auction tasting at Christie’s in New York. A biology major at Vassar College, Elizabeth was originally on the pre-medical school track. She fell in love with wine as a consumer while living in New York City, working as a clinical toxicologist at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Her strong science background and sudden infatuation with wine propelled her to apply to the University of California – Davis, and its renowned winemaking program instead of medical school.
Vianna first became familiar with the Chimney Rock winemaking program in 1999, working as a harvest intern while completing her Master’s degree in enology at U.C. Davis. Upon graduation, she became an enologist at Napa Wine Company and was soon named assistant winemaker there, where she worked directly with many of region’s top winemakers. Vianna was named to the position of assistant winemaker at Chimney Rock in January 2002, and advanced to the position of winemaker in April 2005. In 2011 she was promoted to General Manager of Chimney Rock Winery and she continues in her role as head winemaker at the Stags Leap district estate winery. She is currently serving her second term as President of the Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association. During her tenure, she has consistently produced wines that have been highly rated among critics and highly valued among consumers.
Wine: 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon | Stags Leap District, Napa Valley | 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
Winemaker | Cliff Lede Vineyards | Napa Valley
Christopher Tynan began his wine career working summers as a vineyard technician doing irrigation management for vineyards across Napa and Sonoma counties. Following the 2004 harvest at Cain Vineyard & Winery, he was given an opportunity to work with the legendary winemaking and viticulture team of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer at Blankiet Estate. In 2006, Christopher became the assistant winemaker at the prestigious Colgin Cellars on Pritchard Hill. At Colgin, Christopher worked closely with owner Ann Colgin and Vineyard Manager David Abreu for the next five years. It was here where he learned and embodied the standard for excellence in all aspects of winemaking and viticulture. In 2012, Christopher was introduced to Cliff Lede by David Abreu and joined the Cliff Lede Vineyards team shortly thereafter. Christopher brings an unmatched passion and attention for detail to the Lede Family Wines team. His exacting philosophy of only employing low-yield vines from select sites and minimal intervention in the winery ensures that each bottle expresses the distinct nuances of each site, block and vintage.
Wine: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon | Stags Leap District, Napa Valley | 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc
Director of Winemaking | Frescobaldi Toscana | Tuscany
Nicolò D’Afflitto is the director of winemaking for Frescobaldi Toscana. The 700-plus year-old Frescobaldi family owns seven estates in Tuscany that cover 1,400 hectares (3,560 acres). D’Afflitto oversees all of the Tuscan estates and, as he believes that the quality of the wine begins with the vine. He manages each of the vineyards as if they were his own children.
D’Afflitto grew up on a farm and studied in Bordeaux. He moved to the United States and worked in Monterey, California before returning to Tuscany to consult. In 1991, Nicolò joined Frescobaldi, working at Castel Giocondo and by 1995 he was overseeing all of the estates.
He is dedicated to producing unique wines and is particularly focused on the production of the Cru wines, coming from the most prized vineyards at the various estates. Each of these wines represents the terroir of the vineyards and demonstrate the diversity that Tuscany offers.
Wine: 2015 Mormoreto | Tuscany | Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese and Petit Verdot
International Wine Report, Washington Wine Blog
Dr. Owen Bargreen is the founder/executive editor of Washington Wine Blog. Owen joined the International Wine Report Editorial staff in 2015. He is a clinical psychologist and has his private practice in the Seattle area. In December, 2014 Owen achieved his Level 2 Sommelier Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and currently working to achieve a Level 3 Certification. This means that he has met the Court of Master Sommeliers standards for proficiency in blind tasting, as well as wine knowledge and wine service. Owen has also been writing about wine for more than ten years and travels extensively in Washington, Oregon and California, as well as throughout other wine regions of the world, including the France, Spain, Germany and Italy. He speaks German, Italian and English.
WALLA WALLA VALLEY WINES
Abeja | 2015 Heather Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon | Heather Hill Estate Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
ALUVÉ | 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon | Menozzi Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley
92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot
Doubleback | 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon | McQueen, Lefore, Bob Healy, Pepper Bridge & Figgins Vineyards, Walla Walla Valley
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot,
Chimney Rock Winery | 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon | Stags Leap District, Napa Valley
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
Cliff Lede Vineyards | 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon | Stags Leap District, Napa Valley
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc
Frescobaldi | 2015 Mormoreto, Castello Nipozzano | Tuscany
Largely Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Sangiovese, with a touch of Petit Verdot
All photos by Richard Duval Images