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Ste Michelle introduces new winemakers for trio of brands

Published:  24 March, 2021

Ste Michelle Wine Estates has introduced new winemakers for three of its leading brands, under the direction of chief winemaker Juan Muñoz-Oca.

Katie Nelson, who previously oversaw winemaking for Columbia Crest and ēlicit Wine Project, has been appointed to oversee winemaking for Chateau Ste Michelle, the company’s flagship brand.

“Katie is simply a phenomenal winemaker,” said Muñoz-Oca. “With her global palate, her commitment to the craft, and her passion for Washington’s terroir, I can think of no one better to lead Washington’s founding winery into the future.”

Will Wiles meanwhile has been appointed to replace Nelson, overseeing winemaking for Columbia Crest and ēlicit Wine Project.

He was previously responsible specifically for ēlicit Wine Project and the company’s other innovation projects. 

Muñoz-Oca said: “Will has an outstanding palate, a deep understanding of viticultural practices, and a deft touch in the cellar. He’s also a natural leader, which is essential for any winemaker, particularly one leading such a complex and diverse winery.”

In Oregon, Leah Adint, previously the red winemaker for Chateau Ste Michelle, has been appointed to work alongside longtime winemaker Gary Horner at Erath Winery, one of Oregon’s pioneering wineries and producer of the region’s best-selling Pinot Noir.

“Leah is an incredible talent. She brings an impressive breadth of experience to her new role. Her precise and focused approach to winemaking combined with her adventurous spirit will surely become a force to be reckoned with in the Willamette Valley,” said Muñoz-Oca.

The latest changes follows Ste Michelle announcing the appointment of ‘global wine veteran’ Stuart McNab to the newly created role of chief supply officer in November last year. 

Dating back to 1934, the winery now farms more than 30,000 acres across Washington, Oregon, and California and distributes its wines in over 100 countries.