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I love, love, love your wines. Hubby and I come out to PA a couple of times a year and we make a stop all the time to restock....and I always seem to find something unique in the little 'gift' shop too! :-)

Greetings, I LOVE your website, philosophy and energy!

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Our Winemaker, Virginie Bourgue

VViginie Bourgueirginie joined Olympic Cellars in August 2010 as consulting winemaker as we bid goodbye to Benoit Murat, our winemaker for the last 6 years.

Benoit has moved back to France on a 2-year sabbatical to pursue a Master’s Degree, a “National Diploma of Oenology” at Ecole National Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse.

Virginie ‘s first task as Olympic Cellars’ new winemaker will be to direct a fall “custom crush,” at Artifex Wine Company in Walla Walla. Artifex is a dedicated custom crush facility that provides winemaking services from crushing through bottling. Clients provide their own winemakers, barrels, bottles and other supplies. The Artifex crew works under the direction of the client’s winemaker.

We usually crush our grapes at the winery in Port Angeles but Virginie will be in Walla Walla during harvest for her own winery, so doing a custom crush at Artifex makes sense for both of us at this time.

Virginie was interviewed for a story in Seattle Homes and Lifestyles in July 2008. Below is an excerpt:

Bourgue grew up in Bonnieux, Provence, in the south of France, and her winemaking style combines the sense of restraint that is typical of wines from France with the best elements of Washington wine: intense fruit and concentration of flavor. She credits her family's agricultural roots, her mother's restaurant and her own master's degrees in science for influencing her decision to pursue winemaking. “Studying winemaking allowed me to use my scientific background and my palate, to combine knowledge [of science and agriculture] with the unexplainable: flavors,” she says. “Winemaking is the best way to put them both together.”

Beginning at a young age in France, where she worked first in Provence at Domaine de la Verriere, then in the Loire Valley at Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, Bourgue went on to Champagne, where she studied and worked at some of the most famous properties, including Champagne Louis Roederer and Champagne Bollinger.

In 2002 Bourgue moved to Washington, drawn by the state's reputation as an emerging wine-growing and -making area. First working as an enologist for Chateau Ste. Michelle, Bourgue became winemaker at Walla Walla's Bergevin Lane Vineyards in 2003. She left Bergevin Lane three years later to start her own winery and was simultaneously hired by Cadaretta as a winemaking and grape-sourcing consultant.

Additional articles featuring Virginie Bourgue:

Women of Washington wine: Virginie Bourgue of Lullaby Winery

Women winemakers of Walla Walla are working the dirt and pushing the bar with passion

Benoit MuratAu Revoir, Benoit Murat Olympic Cellars Winemaker 2004-2010.

After 6 years, we will very much miss Benoit and his wife, Joy. We wish them the best in the newest chapter in their lives… school and a new baby!

Benoit has left a piece of himself at the winery… his wines. We will enjoy his 2007-2009 vintages for a few years to come. In fact, he will just about have graduated when we release the 2009 vintage.

Olympic Cellars Winery     255410 Hwy 101    Port Angeles, WA 98362    360-452-0160

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