Long Shadows Winemakers

Director of Winemaking & Viticulture

Gilles Nicault

Gilles Nicault has served as director of winemaking and viticulture since Long Shadows’ inception. He oversees winery operations and collaborates with Long Shadows’ celebrated vintners from around the globe to ensure that each winemaker’s vision is realized in the vineyard and the cellar, a position he describes as his “dream job.”

"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

Gilles grew up in southern France and graduated from the University of Avignon with a degree in viticulture and enology. He honed his craft in the fabled hillside wineries of Côte du Rhône, Provence and Champagne. In 1994, already a vintner of rising fame in his homeland, Gilles traveled to Washington State to expand his winemaking skills. Here he worked for several top Washington wineries, including Woodward Canyon, before joining Long Shadows in 2003. Seattle magazine named him Washington State’s Winemaker of the Year in 2016.

Associated Wines

Feather Winemaking Inspiration

Randy Dunn

Randy Dunn developed a reputation for his uncompromising style of California Cabernet Sauvignon over a decade at Caymus Vineyards where his wines set the benchmark for Napa Valley Cabs. He began his wine career as an enologist at Caymus and never looked back. Along the way, his artistry has also shaped the reputation of other highly acclaimed wineries, such as Pahlmeyer, Livingston and La Jota, among others. In 1979, while still working with Caymus, Randy established Dunn Vineyards on Howell Mountain. It is here where he continues to craft small lot, collectible Cabernet Sauvignon, and with the exception of Long Shadows’ Feather, it remains his sole pursuit.

"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 blackcurrant and is very ageworthy." - Randy Dunn
Associated Wines

Sequel Winemaking Inspiration

John Duval

Few winemakers are as synonymous with the iconic wines of a country as John Duval, best known for his work with Penfolds’ Grange, the gold standard for Australian Shiraz. In 2003, after 28 years with Penfolds, John stepped down from his post as chief winemaker to establish John Duval Wines in the Barossa Valley. At the same time, Long Shadows founder Allen Shoup invited him to Washington State to explore Columbia Valley Syrah. A partnership was born, and the name Sequel was given to the wine in recognition of John’s life work with Syrah.

"My goal with Long Shadows has been to highlight, in an elegant but structured fashion, the different sub-regional expressions of Syrah, and then combine these components to express a more complex wine." - John Duval
Associated Wines

Pedestal Winemaking Inspiration

Michel Rolland

Pomerol’s Michel Rolland is one of the most influential winemakers in the world. Not only does he own and manage such fine wine estates as Château Le Bon Pasteur, Château Bertineau Saint-Vincent, and Château Rolland-Maillet, among others, Michel also consults for over 100 vintners and vineyards worldwide. Though he is not a technician, his wines are recognized and admired for a consistently alluring style. Michel is, first and foremost, an observer with an uncanny knack for capturing the unique culture of a wine, collectively expressed by the vineyard, grower and vintner.

"In Washington I am dedicated to Merlot. As always and ever, the philosophy is not to adapt to one place, but to the grapes Mother Nature gives us, year after year." - Michel Rolland
Associated Wines

Pirouette Winemaking Inspiration

Philippe Melka

On a whim, French-born Phillipe Melka took a wine course while studying at the University of Bordeaux that proved to be life changing. It led to his decision to pursue a master's degree in agronomy and enology, ultimately taking him to some of the most famous wineries in the world: Château Cheval Blanc, Pétrus and Château Haut-Brion, among others, where his passion for cabernet-based blends developed. In 1994, Philippe settled in Napa Valley where his reputation has grown exponentially making wines for such celebrated wineries as Hundred Acre, Quintessa, Bryant Family, Seavey, Dana Estates and Vineyard 29.

"How can you refuse to be part of a dream project? Partnering with Agustin Hunneus, Sr. from Quintessa and Allen Shoup and working with all great winemakers…..it was a very attractive project in a promising wine region." - Philippe Melka
Associated Wines

Pirouette Winemaking Inspiration

Agustin Huneeus, Sr.

Born in Santiago, Chile, Agustin Huneeus Sr. entered the wine business in Chile in 1960 to lead Concha y Toro, a company he grew to become Chile’s largest winery. In 1971, he moved from South America to New York, then later to California, continuing in the wine industry before becoming a partner and president of Franciscan Estates in 1985. During his tenure there, Agustin built such well-known California wineries as Franciscan, Estancia, Mount Veeder and Veramonte Winery in Chile. He left Franciscan in 1999 to establish Huneeus Vintners, a portfolio that includes Napa Valley’s Quintessa, among other acclaimed estates.

Poet's Leap Winemaking Inspiration

Armin Diel

Armin Diel, owner of the Schlossgut Diel in Germany's Nahe region, came to Washington in 2003 to make Riesling. From the first vintage, Long Shadows' director of winemaking Gilles Nicault collaborated with Armin on Poet's Leap's vineyard selection, fermentation and blending to establish a consistent style for the wine. In the fall of 2016, Gilles assumed winemaking responsibility for Poet's Leap after Armin found it increasingly challenging to make the numerous trips overseas that the project required. Gilles remains true to crafting the same style wine the team originally aspired to produce.

"My emphasis was to preserve Poet’s Leap Riesling with as much freshness as possible with a small amount of residual sugar." - Armin Diel
Associated Wines

Saggi Winemaking Inspiration

Ambrogio & Giovanni Folonari

The Folonaris are one of Italy’s oldest and most prestigious Tuscan wine families. Father-son team, Ambrogio and Giovanni, joined Long Shadows in 2006 to create Saggi, a Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon blend, true to Washington terroir with plenty of Tuscan character. In the fall of 2016, Long Shadows director of winemaking and viticulture Gilles Nicault assumed winemaking responsibilities for Saggi after the Folonaris found it increasingly difficult to make the numerous trips overseas that the project required. Gilles’ winemaking continues to honor the style of wine the Folonaris inspired.

"Washington’s terroir, unlike other areas nearby, makes it easy to grow grapes with a very balanced sugar/acidity level. This helps make very elegant wines. Plus the microclimate allows such a “difficult” variety like Sangiovese to give great results, better than most other places in the world outside from its own turf." - Giovanni Folonari
Associated Wines

Make Us Part of Your History

We love hearing from customers how much a bottle of Long Shadows brightened a meal or deepened a conversation. Browse our online store and we’ll deliver your favorite wines for your most important moments.
Shop Our Wines