Forgeron
  • Forgeron Chardonnay
  • Forgeron Merlot
  • Forgeron Cabernet
  • Forgeron Facon Rouge
  • Forgeron Facon Blanc

Winemaking Philosophy

Forgeron Cellars focuses on producing true varietal wines. "My wines have a sense of place," Marie-Eve says. "They reflect their terroir, which is a composite of the vine location and the grower dedication. I practice minimal intervention winemaking, enabling each grape to fully express itself."

Education and Training

Marie-Eve Gilla [MAH-ree-EV GE-Iah] was born in Paris. She earned her Master's Degree in enology and viticulture at the University of Dijon, also receiving practical training in the wineries and vineyards of Burgundy. In 1991 , she arrived in the United States to further her winemaking experience. Intending to stay for just a few months, she realized the incredible potential of the Northwest wine industry, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen in 2004. She is married to Gilles Nicault, the highly accredited director of winemaking and viticulture at Long Shadows Winery.

Experience

Marie-Eve began her Northwest winemaking experience at Argyle in Oregon, moving to Covey Run Winery and Hogue Cellars, when both were relatively small wineries. While at Gordon Brothers, her 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, "Tradition," gained international recognition at several blind tastings in San Francisco and Miami. Marie-Eve became the founding winemaker, co-owner, and general manager of Forgeron Cellars in 2001.

Technique

In the cellar, Marie-Eve uses mainly French oak with moderate toast levels for fermentation and aging and has adapted her Burgundian winemaking influence to the riper fruit found in Eastern Washington. For example, while making Chardonnay, she periodically stirs the lees to increase mouth feel for a mineral yet full bodied and well balanced wine. Because she enjoys lively acids, she does not inoculate for malo-lactic fermentation to retain natural fresh and pure flavors. She also uses a minimal intervention approach to craft age-worthy reds of great complexity showing the beautiful fruit flavors of Washington State.

Vineyards

Forgeron Cellars contracts with high-quality vineyards strategically located in the best sites across the Yakima, Columbia and Walla Walla Valleys to reveal the full potential of Washington State grapes. Columbia Valley vineyards include Alder Ridge, Stillwater Creek, Underwood Mountain, and Boushey. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are sourced from Red Mountain's Klipsun. Les Collines and Pepper Bridge provide Walla Walla Valley fruit.

Accolades

The Global A-List named Forgeron Cellars as one of the " ... Twenty Best New Wineries in the World. The Washington investment group that founded th is winery definitely did several things right at Forgeron, notably by locking up grapes from premier vineyard sites and by hiring the talented, French-born winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla." -Food and Wine Magazine, October 2004

"Simply sensational; limited production sophisticated winemaking" -Seattle Times, 2003

"The Washington investment group that founded this winery definitely did several things right at Forgeron, notably by locking up grapes from premier vineyard sites and by hiring the talented, French-born winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla." -Food and Wine Magazine, October 2004

"Marie-Eve Gilla understands that blending grapes from different sites can add complexity and synergy to wines ... The result: some of Washington's most elegant wines." -Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 2007

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