Washington Hills Cellars
Harry and Brian
Harry D. Alhadeff, President
In the early 1970s he was owner and operator of a chain of wine shops and restaurants in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. This was a time when the general public's awareness and acceptance of fine wines was just beginning to grow, and Harry's commitment to a broad selection of varietal wines and a well trained, knowledgeable sales staff helped spur that growth.
In the mid-1980s, he founded a wine import and wholesale distributorship which operated a multi-state distribution network serving retail and food service accounts. During this period, he developed and introduced a new brand of Northwest wine, "Northwest Daily," which became a success, well-established at retail and in many major restaurants and other food service establishments. The brand was sold in 1986, but the venture had ignited a new passion—the winery business.
With renowned winemaker Brian Carter, Harry founded Washington Hills Cellars in 1988. Harry's broad experience in all aspects of wine sales and distribution and his commitment to quality wines and quality operations were instrumental in Washington Hills Cellars' growth and success. The first wines were released in 1989, and it didn't take long for consumers to find the quality of Washington Hills wines and their value to be consistently excellent. The wines did well in competitions, tastings and at retail.
Today, with sales of over 80,000 cases per year, Washington Hills Cellars is one of Washington's top wineries. More important to Harry, it is the producer of outstanding wines that consistently win awards and accolades from experts and consumers alike.
Harry Alhadeff is a member of Ordre de Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs, and holds or has held leadership positions in Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs and the Enological Society of the Pacific Northwest. He is Master Knight of Knights of the Vines of America, and past chairman of the Washington State Governor's Task Force on Liquor Policy.
Brian Carter Winemaker
Brian started making wine at age 14. He received a degree in microbiology at Oregon State University and did post-graduate work at the School of Enology, University of California at Davis. He worked at Mount Eden Vineyards and Chateau Montelena in California, and then came to Washington State in 1980.
During the next decade, Brian worked as winemaker for several small wineries in the state. When they hired him as winemaker, they actually got a winery-maker, as well. Under his guidance, the small wineries flourished and the quality (and quantity) of their wines skyrocketed. His wines garnered awards and honors almost immediately, as did the wineries he worked for. In 1988, he was approached by Harry Alhadeff, who wanted to start a new winery with Brian as winemaker. Brian leapt at the chance.
In 1990, after two years as consulting winemaker, Brian became a part owner and full-time winemaker at Washington Hills Cellars. In addition to managing the winemaking facility and making all of the wines produced there, he is the creative force behind Washington Hills Cellars' introduction of ultra premium Bridgman wines and super ultra premium Apex wines.
The "golden touch" Brian had demonstrated at other wineries was evident at Washington Hills, as well. In only a few years, Brian and Harry propelled the operation to its position as one of Washington State's top producers of fine wines. Wine Enthusiast magazine named Apex one of the wine world's "Great Chardonnay Producers" and in 1998 Washington Hills was nominated for the Winery of Distinction Award bestowed by the NorthWest Wine Summit.
Brian has held leadership positions in numerous professional organizations. He is past Chairman of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture and the Central Washington Wine Technical Group, and is a member of the Washington Wine Advisory Board.
All information was provided by the winery
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