Story Behind The Chihuly Tasting Room

Collaborations between artists and winemakers have a storied history dating back to 1924, the year Chateau Mouton Rothschild launched its first artist series label. A friendship between Long Shadows founder Allen Shoup and internationally acclaimed glass artist Dale Chihuly led to a similar project in the late 1990s. While CEO at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Allen and Dale joined forces to feature six Chihuly works on the winery’s first artist series collection, originally launched as a tribute to contemporary artists working with glass.

Long Shadows was founded in 2002, and as the winery began to take shape Allen, an art collector himself, knew Dale’s work would provide the perfect backdrop for the winery’s tasting room. He brought Dale to Walla Walla shortly after purchasing the property on Frenchtown Road, and the pair conceived the Chihuly Tasting Room to heighten the setting’s aesthetics.

Dale and Allen are both recognized as trailblazers in their respective fields, perhaps one reason their friendship formed so easily when the two met in the mid-1980s.

Dale is a Pacific Northwest native with an international reputation for revolutionizing the studio glass movement in particular and contemporary art in general. With major installations and permanent displays in museums and private collections around the world, he is credited with establishing the glass form as an accepted vehicle for installation and environmental art. Allen has played a pivotal role raising awareness and regard for Washington wines over the last five decades. Both men are considered visionaries and enjoy a reputation for challenging conventional thinking. Dale dared the art community to rethink the use of glass as an artistic medium. Allen has spent much of his career encouraging wine collectors to look beyond California and the Old World for greatness.

Long Shadows’ Chihuly Tasting Room is as much a celebration of a friendship as it a perfect marriage of glass and wine, both crafted from organic material, with glass treasured for its complex aesthetic value in much the same way wine is appreciated for its sensory appeal.

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