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Doubleback Winery

Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe grew up in Walla Walla. When he left there were four wineries, and each time he visited his parents, he would see the growth. He would take bottles back to his wife and their friends and hold blind tasting events. The seeds for Doubleback were planted, coming to fruition in 2007 when he and wife Maura purchased land after his retirement.

Drew hired Josh McDaniels who trained for 10 years under Chris Figgins. Josh also grew up in Walla Walla and played football. Leonetti Vineyards was behind his house growing up and he had a fascination with wine, making/bottling/selling wines when he was 15 out of his parent's house. He bugged Chris Figgins to be his mentor and spent his junior high and high school time in Leonetti and Figgins vineyards. He attended the Institute of Enology and Viticulture in Walla Walla and at 18 he opened a tasting room downtown (too young to drink his own wine…). After graduation, he traveled: Argentina, France, Italy. Back in Walla Walla, he worked at various places then came to Doubleback in 2015. In 2019 he became CEO & Director of Winemaking.

View from tasting room

Home of Doubleback, Bledsoe Family, and Bledsoe-McDaniels wines, the winery sits on the southern edge of Walla Walla in a building completed in 2018. Huge windows on the ground floor overlook the surrounding land, and the barrel room/production area reside below, along with a small tasting room (glassed-in room that opened in 2021). Their barrels are all French oak, used for two vintages, then sold. Three Italian concrete tulips, lowered by a giant crane, are used for reds. After fermentation, they sit for 16-18 months to develop; once out of tulips, they are used only for blending. There is more fruit focus in the eggs, tannins take a back seat. They also have Austrian Blonde Oak barrels which are not charred inside (neutral). Josh and Drew love Italian wines, especially Barolo, and these barrels for blending.

Drew and Josh have a vision for the space and are proud of their fully-sustainable winery (LIVE certified). They also have a full-time, year-round vineyard crew who are salaried with 401k and benefits, believing that there's a difference in the quality of their fruit because the workers know the grapes.

They own four estate vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley (LeFore, McQueen, Bob Healy, Flying B), all sustainably certified, with 63 acres planted out of 250. They plan to plant about five acres per year, keeping with their plan to make handcrafted wine. Their original plan was to make world class Cabernet Sauvignon. The LeFore Vineyard is in the Rocks area and is one of the oldest vineyards there. Bob Healey Vineyard, named after Drew's father, is the warmest site. McQueen is a family name and is the crown jewel of their vineyards. Flying B is named for Drew's grandfather who was a Navy pilot. Drew and Josh purchased 80 acres in the Willamette Valley in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA in 2021 and are "100% committed to Willamette Valley Pinot Noir." In addition, they have produced the second vintage of 'Elizabeth' Chardonnay for Bledsoe Family Winery.

Barrell room tasting area

We tasted two wines:

Doubleback Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from the McQueen and LeFore vineyards. 72% Cab, 25% Petite Verdot, 3% Merlot.

Doubleback Cabernet from McQueen, LeFore, Bob Healey, and Figgins vineyards. 87% Cabernet, 6% Merlot, 4% Petite Verdot, 3% Malbec.

Four Eleven Wine Lounge in Pioneer Square was intended to be a shared tasting room between Bledsoe Family winery and Gramercy Cellars of Walla Walla. It has become a place to "explore wines from around the world." You can have a traditional tasting experience and/or find international wines by the glass, bottle, or to take home. Bar, inside, and patio seating. There are snacks and you can even bring a bottle of wine from home if you wish.

 

Doubleback
3853 Powerline Rd
Walla Walla, WA 99362
509-525-3334

Doubleback downtown
229 E Main St
Walla Walla, WA 99362
509-525-3334

doubleback.com


Four Eleven Wine Lounge
411 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
206-452-3600

Four Eleven Wine

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