Forgeron Cellars - Downtown Walla Walla Winery & Tasting Room Cover Image

Forgeron Cellars - Downtown Walla Walla Winery & Tasting Room


A brief history

OUR START IN WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON
When we started the winery back in 2001, two things really defined us: our decision to set down roots in downtown Walla Walla; my French roots, and viticulture and oenology training in Burgundy. We were the 23rd winery to put roots down in Walla Walla, Washington. It was serendipitous that our new home was on the site of a turn-of-the-Century blacksmith shop. Blacksmiths are serious artisans--it’s not easy to create such beauty from ferrous metal; not only does it require great skill and patience; you must truly be passionate about your trade. The name Forgeron [FOR-juh-ron] is the French term for “blacksmith”, skilled artisans who work with their hands in an age-old tradition—a perfect fit with our philosophy and the terms that define our difference: experience, credibility, curiosity, and passion.

Our logo and label center around the Fleur-de-lis, symbolic of my French heritage and wine training in Burgundy. Designed to depict forged metal, we pay homage to our origins and the blacksmith shop here in Walla Walla--as so often you find Fleur-de-lis crafted in ferrous metal.

OUR WINEMAKER, MARIE-EVE GILLA
» Born and raised in Paris.
» Earned her Double Masters in Oenology and Viticulture at the University of Dijon.
» Practical training in the wineries and vineyards of Burgundy.

Arriving in the United States in 1991, she worked at Argyle, Covey Run, and Hogue. 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. At Gordon Brothers, her 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, “Tradition,” gained international recognition at several blind tastings in San Francisco and Miami.

She became Forgeron Cellars’ founding Winemaker and Managing Partner in 2001. She is married to Gilles Nicault, the highly accredited Director of Winemaking and Viticulture at Long Shadows Winery. In 2013 Marie-Eve was inducted into the Seattle Chapter of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier International.
Forgeron Cellars - Downtown Walla Walla Winery & Tasting Room Logo

33 West Birch street
Walla Walla, Washington, United States
99362

www.forgeroncellars.com

tastingroom@forgeroncellars.com

+15095229463

Meet The Winemakers

  • Marie-Eve Gilla

    Winemaker

    Born in Burgundy and raised near Paris, Marie-Eve Gilla fell in love with the pastoral lifestyle while working summers on the farm. She earned her Double Masters in Enology and Viticulture at the University of Dijon, gaining practical training in the wineries and vineyards of Burgundy.



    Arriving in the United States in 1991, she worked at various wineries including Argyle, Covey Run, and Hogue. Intending to stay for just a few months, she realized the incredible potential of the Northwest wine industry. In 1999, she married her compatriot Gilles Nicault, now Director of Winemaking at Long Shadows. They moved to Walla Walla in 2001, where Marie-Eve became Forgeron Cellars’ founding winemaker. In 2018, she joined Valdemar Estates.



    Believing firmly that great wines are made in the vineyard, Marie-Eve sources grapes from established vineyards in the Red Mountain and Walla Walla A.V.A to craft her wines. Working in a boutique winery allows her to focus on quality by keeping each vineyard lot separate. This gives each wine the ability to express its full potential. In the cellar, Marie-Eve primarily uses French oak, with moderate toast levels for both fermentation and aging. She has successfully adapted her Burgundian winemaking influences 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. She uses a minimal intervention approach to craft age-worthy reds of great complexity that showcase the beautiful fruit flavors of Washington state.

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