The Story Behind the Wines, Pt. 1

We believe an intrical part of understanding a bottle of wine is knowing the story behind it. At Long Shadows Vintners, immersing ourselves in the visions of our winemakers is one of our key philosophies to crafting wines that we hope will make an imprint. We invite you to join us for some insight into each of our wines and the artists behind them in part one of The Stories Behind the Wines.


“Cabernet in Washington State is different than Napa Valley Cab. Napa never gets the herbaceous, briery character. Washington Cab can have intense oak complexity, notes of granite and black currant and is very ageworthy.”

— Randy Dunn

Napa Valley vintner Randy Dunn is known as one of the world’s most renowned Cabernet Sauvignon producers. He started his winemaking journey at Caymus Vineyards in 1975, and eventually started Dunn Vineyards where his wines became a benchmark for the industry. Randy is known not only for his Cabernets but for his winemaking practices, and with his perfected skills was born Feather Cabernet Sauvignon, named after Randy’s personal feather collection. The Columbia Valley’s cool autumn nights protect the acidity of the grapes which results in a rich, balanced wine. It smells like blackberries and tastes like earth and spice — it’s a Cabernet that is familiar to the drinker’s palate every single time.


“For a passionate winemaker, Allen’s venture is the epitome of a winemaking career. It allows me to work closely with some of the most prestigious winemakers from around the world, using the same terroir, while making distinctively different wines.”

— Gilles Nicault

Named after our founder Allen Shoup’s mother, Elizabeth Chester, and his grandmother, Maggie Kidder, the Chester-Kidder Red Blend is a sentimental wine that is near and dear to our hearts. This Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Bordeaux blend spends extended time in the barrel which helps develop a rich mouthfeel and elevates the fruit to complement the oak. It has layers of aromas, flavors of black cherry, baking spice, and earthy tones with a vibrant finish that we hope will leave a lasting impression. Allen selected our director of winemaking and viticulture, Gilles Nicault, to create this special wine. Gilles was born in France where he started his winemaking career before coming to Washington to take on his “dream job” of working at Long Shadows. His innate curiosity for learning new things is one of the factors that make him such an ideal collaborator with our vintner partners.


“My emphasis was to preserve Poet’s Leap Riesling with as much freshness as possible with a small amount of residual sugar."

— Armin Diel

Armin Diel was raised at Schlossgut Diel, his family's celebrated estate and vineyards, in Germany’s Nahe region. The winery itself dates back to the early 1800s. Involved with the estate from the early years of his childhood, Armin knew he’d assume management of his family’s 12th century medieval castle and its vineyards. Schlossgut Diel is internationally known for its white wines, predominantly Riesling. In 2003, Armin and Allen Shoup shared a belief that the United States was on the cusp of a Riesling renaissance, and created the first vintage of Poet’s Leap. Since then, Gilles Nicault has taken inspiration from Armin’s expertise when it comes to vineyard selection, fermentation, and blending to create a Riesling that is lively with flavors of juicy kumquat, grapefruit aromas, white peach, and honey.

We hope this introduction of The Stories Behind the Wines has given you the chance to get to know the winemakers and the heart and soul behind each one of our wines. Stay tuned for part two as we dive into our 2017 Pirouette Red Blend and the 2017 Sequel Syrah.

Back to News