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Wine Spectator: Quilceda Creek Winemaking Team Jumps Ship

July 9, 2021

There’s nothing unusual about a winemaker changing jobs, but what happens when an entire winemaking team jumps ship to another winery? That’s just what happened in Washington wine country this week. Three winemakers from Quilceda Creek, the state’s most elite Cabernet producer, were lured away by Matthews Winery.

There will be gossip aplenty in the Washington wine industry about what precisely played out but, if there’s any ill will among the wineries and the winemakers, they aren’t showing it. Alex Stewart is the lead winemaker of the team, and he worked with Quilceda Creek for 17 years, 12 of those full time. Matthews owner Bryan Otis and Stewart are longtime friends and often talked about working together. “Everything just fell into place in the past few months,” Otis says. As for the rarity of a team of winemakers leaving in unison, Otis put it this way, “It’s like a sports team. They work best together.” Wine Spectator has more.—Tim Fish

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