In 1982, Doug brought his California winemaking experience to Washington state. He began making Columbia Crest wines two years later. His accomplishments are too numerous to list, but highlights include his ability to make a fresh, consistent style of Chardonnay that appeals to new wine consumers and connoiseurs alike. In the late 1980's, his Merlot not only caught the industry's attention but also established Washington state's penchant for the varietal; and his innovative spirit led Columbia Crest to become the first U.S. winery to introduce Semillon-Chardonnay.
A California native, Doug was raised in San Jose at a time when the area was still considered rural. Even as he watched the farmlans disappear around him, Doug remembers growing up with the conviction that he would spend his life working close to the land. The notion of becoming a winemake came much later.
He vividly recalls first hearing the word "enology" in ninth grade when a graduating senior in his ag class announced his plans to study enology in college. Years later, while working on his degree in food science at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Doug thought about his high school classmate, and something clicked. The idea of winemaking, a natural outgrowth of farming intrigued him.
He took advantage of school vacations and sabbaticals to work harvest and crush in Sonoma Valley. After graduating in 1976, he worked first as a laboratory technician and later as enologist for renowned winemaker Myron Nightingale at Beringer Winery. Working under Myron's tutelage was "like going back to college", Doug says. Here he mastered every aspect of winemaking, from quality control and fermentation techniques to cellar management.
Shortly thereafter, Doug found the vineyards of Washington state calling. He answered the call and brought with him a commitment to the vineyards and a dedication to winemaking. The rest, as they say, is history.
Under Doug's direction, Columbia Crest has become one of America's most popular and fastest growing premium wineries.
[Source: Columbia Crest Winery]
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