Rob Newsom, the Louisiana-born founder of Washington State’s already legendary Boudreaux Cellars, was inspired and tutored by Leonetti Cellar icon Gary Figgins. This former professional alpinist, ice climbing pioneer, and developer of the Gore-Tex fly-fishing wader, is known widely for his bold, rich cabernet sauvignons. Never afraid to experiment, smooth exotic blends are one of Rob’s specialties.
His background in musical performance, cooking and grilling, scientific analysis, and marketing combine with his sly sense of humor and global experience to make Rob engaging and entertaining. Rob was chosen as Seattle Magazine’s Best New Winemaker of the Year in 2007. He is serving his second term on the board of directors of the Washington Wine Institute and also serves on the board of Acoustic Sound, Inc. producers of Wintergrass.
Gilles Nicault left the University of Avignon with a four year degree in Viticulture and Enology. He honed his craft in the fabled hillside vineyards and wineries of Cote Du Rhone, Provence and Champagne. Then, already a vintner of rising fame, Gilles traveled to America. He wanted to see for himself if reports of outstanding noble grapes from the eastern slopes of Washington were indeed true.
His tour took him to the Staton Hills Winery of Yakima Valley in 1994 (now part of Diageo), to Woodward Canyon in 1996, and included an occasion at the Hogue Winery. He soon became part of the prestigious community of Washington enologists and winemakers.
But it was in the vineyards of southern France where Gilles developed his deep convictions regarding the science of grape growing, and the profound role it plays in winemaking.
“Wines are made in the vineyard and only an excellent relationship between grower and winemaker allows the crafting of outstanding wines that reflect their terroir,” he explains to all who ask.
Gilles has a passion for knowledge, and has shaped his career path to achieve maximum growth through exposure to new ideas. It was only natural that Gilles would want to join Allen Shoup’s state-of-the-art Long Shadows team. It is there that he is completing his search for the secrets of the world's most exceptional wines as he works alongside some of the world’s greatest winemakers. His exposure to their craftsmanship with specific grape varieties and classic wine styles allows him to perfect his own signature work.