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.