Caption: DeLille Cellars’ new director of winemaking and viticulture, Jason Gorski, standing in the winery’s brand-newproduction facility at the old Redhook space (credit: DeLille Cellars)
WOODINVILLE, Wash. (January 22, 2019) – DeLille Cellars, one of Woodinville’s founding wineries and a prominent player in developing Washington State as a premier wine region, today announced that Jason Gorski has been promoted to director of winemaking and viticulture. Gorski previously served as winemaker and assistant winemaker, under the tutelage of founding winemaker Chris Upchurch.
Gorski has been instrumental in DeLille Cellars’ success since joining its winemaking team in 2011. He has helped expand production from just over 10,000 cases to nearly 30,000 and has improved its quality, having been involved with 239 of the 90+ scores DeLille has received.
“Jason has built a great winemaking team and possesses a unique ability as a very talented winemaker with unrivaled technical skill,” said Tom Dugan, DeLille’s CEO. “Along with [co-presidents] Chris [Upchurch] and Jay [Soloff] and the rest of our owners, we’re incredibly excited for the next chapter of DeLille, with Jason at the helm of winemaking.”
Every wine DeLille has produced since 2011 has received at least one 90+ score from the top four international critics, leading the winery to over 500 individual 90+ ratings since its founding. DeLille received a coveted position on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list in 2018 with its 2015 Signature Syrah (Gorski’s third such honor), as well as two consecutive Wine & Spirits “Top 100 Wineries of the World” awards (in both 2017 and 2018), along with numerous national and local accolades under Gorski’s leadership. These include the Seattle Times #2 wine of the year in 2017 and #1 wine of the year in 2018, plus the Wine Press Northwest Washington Winery of the Year in 2017.
“Established with a focus on wine quality, DeLille Cellars is an integral part of the history of Washington wine and its increasing reputation throughout the world,” said Gorski. “I look forward to continuing to build upon that foundation, working to continuously improve our wines and promote the excellence of Washington vineyards.”
Gorski found his passion for wine while studying biology at Duke University. He was introduced to a respected sommelier by his academic advisor and eventually moved to Washington State in 2004, where he worked at the state’s founding winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, in Woodinville. He was then offered the role of assistant winemaker at Spring Valley Vineyard in Walla Walla, Washington, before beginning at DeLille in 2011.
Gorski’s promotion aligns with DeLille’s recently announced acquisition of the former Redhook Brewery space. The winery plans to have all production moved to and operational in its new home by the end of January. Gorski has managed the process of refurbishing the original brewery tank room into a world-class production facility. The next phase will include construction of a new three-story tasting room and retail tower, to be completed in late summer of this year.
With Gorski’s promotion, Upchurch will take on a modifiedrole but remain as co-president, partner and founding winemaker. He will continue to be actively involved, supporting Gorski and the winemaking team with harvest and blending, as well as helping to guide the company’s goals from an ownership perspective. He plans on focusing his efforts on supporting the national sales program and continuing to be present at retail events.
“I have been at the forefront of DeLille’s winemaking for the last 27 years, and am extremely proud of what we have created. Our acquisition of a world-class facility at Redhookprovides the perfect opportunity for me to scale down as the winery looks to the future,” said Upchurch. “Jason’s well-deserved promotion to director of winemaking recognizes his incredible contributions to DeLille and his passion for continuing our great legacy.”
# # #
Founded in 1992 by Jay Soloff, Chris Upchurch and Charles and Greg Lill, DeLille Cellars is a boutique artisan winery located in Woodinville, Washington. Known for pioneering Bordeaux-style blends from Washington State, the winery has maintained a tradition of quality and excellence, with over 500 individual 90+ ratings from leading publications. DeLille Cellars focuses on the Red Mountain AVA and sources grapes from Washington's most acclaimed vineyards, including Ciel du Cheval, Grand Ciel, Upchurch, Red Willow, Sagemoor, Klipsun, Boushey and Harrison Hill. The winery is recognized by notable wine critics and influencers, including Robert Parker, as one of the top producers in the state. To learn more about DeLille Cellars, visit www.delillecellars.com.
Public Relations, GreenRubino for DeLille Cellars
Kelly and Chris Sparkman, Founders of Sparkman Cellars, and Executive Winemaker Chris Upchurch and CEO Tom Dugan of DeLille Cellars meet at the Redhook site. Both wineries will be moving to the former brewery.
Photo credit: Richard Duval
We are excited to announce that we will be moving our winery, tasting room, and offices to the iconic Redhook brewery building later this year. This will mark the first time since 1998 that our retail and winemaking operations will all be under one roof, and we can’t wait to share our new world-class wine experiences with you.
The larger space and adjoining winemaking facility will provide for a variety of elevated experiences, including:
o Tours and tastings
o Private and reserve tastings (food and wine pairings, blending seminars, and library wine retrospectives)
o Enhanced space for Wine Club membership, including a rooftop deck
o Private tasting rooms and event spaces
o Outdoor seating
All current operations will remain open until the new space is ready, which should be open by Spring 2019. Our wine lounge in Kirkland, Maison DeLille, will continue to offer wine flights, glass pours and small bites to the Kirkland community indefinitely, and the DeLille Cellars Chateau will continue as a venue for weddings and private events.
We can’t wait to share updates as we make progress on the space!
By Executive Winemaker Chris Upchurch
This is a very cool dish because it is vegetarian, yet the cheese and truffles bump it up to a red wine pairing. It is perfect with the DeLille Cellars Merlot-dominant D2. For the carnivorous, add a short rib on top. Vegetarian or not, everyone is happy. Do not fear the truffle. As with many things, they are available on the internet for most of year. I like to shave them at the table to add to the experience.
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
Approx. 6 cups of hot vegetable stock
1 butternut squash, halved and baked in the oven with butter, then mashed like mashed potatoes
½ cup grated parmesan
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Medium to large black truffle
In a heavy saucepan, or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté, stirring continuously until just softened for 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and continue to stir, using a wooden spoon, to coat the rice with the oil.
Add white wine and continue cooking, stirring often until it has been absorbed by the rice. Pour in enough vegetable stock to cover the rice completely (approx. 3 cups), and continue to cook, stirring often until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Pour in 1 cup of additional vegetable stock, and stir/cook until it has been absorbed. Repeat 2 more times. With the last cup, stir until the rice is al dente, tender but still a little chewy (and most of the liquid has been absorbed).
Stir in the mashed squash, and reduce the heat to very low so that the risotto stops simmering. Stir in the parmesan and butter to give the risotto a nice, creamy finish.
Spoon it immediately into heated shallow serving bowls. Sprinkle a little more Parmesan over it and shave the truffle on top.
It was 2001 when we first met and started dating. As in the beginning of all relationships, you spend time discovering each other, finding out the things that you have in common (and those things that you don't). One of our common pleasures, as it turned out, was drinking and enjoying wine. She had a fondness for wines from out of the country, while my loyalties lied more with local varieties, scattered with some Californian selections. It made for some fun sampling, each trying ones the other liked.
We had been together about 6 months and I still hadn't shared with her one of my very favorites, D2. To paraphrase an old Seinfeld episode, I wanted to make sure she was "D2 worthy". As I could have predicted, she fell in love with it from the very first taste.
Over the years, it became our identifier. Because both of our last names began with a "D", and because we often would bring a bottle to gatherings, we became the D2's. Our friends would address things to the D2's and we would sign responses the same.
As with any passion or collectable, it can become somewhat addicting to find new ways to share the "thirst" for the brand. Of course we like to buy and drink it, as we still have bottles of every year dating back to 2004. When we referred a new member to the DeLille wine club, our gift glasses were personalized "the Other D2". When the 20 anniversary bottle was released, Chris signed it "to the D2's". Very special for us.
As it has been for all of these years, D2 is our house wine.
- The D2's
SECOND PrizE WINNER- Carter H.
I started working at El Gaucho Seattle when I was 18 years old. I knew from the second I walked in the door I wanted to be a server and work my way up from being a food runner. I was surrounded by tableside salads, flaming desserts, and an element I was absolutely not ready for: sommeliers. They would approach a table, work their magic, and voila they would emerge with a great wine to complement the guests experience. For years I heard the name "D2" thrown all about. Servers were saying it, bartenders were saying it, guests were asking for it. Finally one day I overheard a guest exclaim how divine the D2 was, so I did some investigating. Then came my birthday, and after being the youngest and only person in the restaurant under 21 everyone came out to celebrate my big day! After years of waiting, I was finally able to buy wine from the restaurant, and the first bottle would of course be DeLille's D2. It was mid-December, my boyfriend and I cozied around the fireplace with dinner, and I was buzzing with excitement! So excited that I couldn't even taste the first sip, but by the second I was in love. Its great working in an industry surrounded by wine, because I've been able to taste and drink so many wines with good dinners, and celebrations, but for me D2 holds an extra special place in my heart. It's where this journey of mine started and where it ended, with fantastic wine. Thank you DeLille!
Shortly after my husband, David, and I met in 2009, we drove to the Olympic Peninsula to hike Hurricane Ridge. Part of the hiking ritual was to bring along food and wine to share and on that particular day I put a bottle of D2 in the backpack.
It was a long drive from Issaquah so when we got there we were ready to stretch our legs and start the adventure in this breathtaking paradise. As we approached the summit, we noticed a trail meandering to the left through a field where marmots were whistling from their burrows. We decided to go that way and found ourselves at a clearing that overlooked a big canyon with the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the distance. It was the perfect picnic spot and we had it all to ourselves, or so we thought!
Not long after we settled in and were enjoying lunch and the D2, we heard a rustling in nearby trees and a young buck popped his head out and was looking at us! He was so close we could see the fuzz on his short antlers. As he slowly emerged from the forest, we were amazed not only at the buck's proximity and size, but also that he didn't seem afraid.
We stared at each other for awhile and then the deer slowly made his way along the tree line, never taking an eye off of us, before disappearing back into the forest. The experience made for a magical day that my husband and I still talk about today and D2 was part of it!
My husband and I have hiked many trails in Washington, but this particular trip ranks at the top as does D2 and the rest of Delille's wines.
#3-2 - Jordan M.
I'm a server at an upscale steakhouse in Seattle and my favorite D2 memory would have to be when a table from outside of the state came and sat down, asking for a "nice Bordeaux blend" while looking at the French wines on our list. I steered them to the DeLille Cellars D2 as a local alternative to the traditional Bordeaux wines, tasting similar and allowing them to taste the LOCAL flavors (shouldn't you do that when visiting somewhere?!). They finished the bottle before even the appetizers were finished being consumed! "ANOTHER BOTTLE PLEASE!" Ended up with 3 bottles of D2 for them that night. Sadly, nothing was left for me! Not to worry as I went up to the tasting room in Woodinville a couple weekends later and got my fix of the D2, Doyenne and Rousanne! What a nice experience for our guests and a delicious tasting at the tasting room for myself!