College Cellars wines are crafted by students as a part of their study of the science of wine making. Over 100 of our graduates have started their own wineries or are working within the wine industry.
The 2012 Entwine celebration was held on October 13, 2012 in the iconic Dietrich Dome on the campus of Walla Walla Community College. The event showcased the immense talent of graduates from the enology/viticulture and culinary arts programs through a multi-course food/wine pairing dinner.
Alfredo “Freddy” Arredondo is a graduate of the Walla Walla Community College Institute for Enology and Viticulture. Freddy’s winemaking experience includes working as a cellar master at Cougar Crest Winery in Walla Walla. Prior to becoming a winemaker, Freddy was a professional chef. He started his culinary career at age 13, cooking in his family’s restaurant. It was while working and attending culinary classes in Arizona that he was first introduced to wine. At that point in his life wine was a “mysterious, wonderful elixir” that he used to complement his dishes.
Once Freddy completed culinary school, he worked as a chef in restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and on a cruise ship in Hawaii. However, he was drawn to Italy and moved there when he was awarded a highly-competitive scholarship to attend the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners. It was in Italy where two life-changing things occurred: he met his future wife Carrie Bryan–daugher of Vince & Carol Bryan–and he became completely passionate about wine.
“I am excited to create wines that marry beautifully and seamlessly with foods,” said Freddy.” I look forward to the amazing things that are on the horizon.”
After graduating college studying cultural geography, Steven discovered wine on his travels throughout Europe and New Zealand as a cycling guide. It was this exposure of cycling past vineyards and sampling wines that caused him to pause and work his first harvest in the small Tuscan Village of Gaiole, Italy. Following his return to the US, Steven was encouraged to pursue wine as a career and enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at Walla Walla Community College. There he worked closely with professor, mentor and hero Stan Clarke and in 2003 was awarded the Walter J. Clore Scholarship for Excellence.
With a conviction for organic vineyard and winery practices, Steven worked with several Walla Walla wine producers before practicing biodynamic viticulture at Cayuse Vineyards. A quest for cool climate viticulture and yearning for global travel led Steven back to New Zealand to work at Craggy Range in Hawke’s Bay and Seresin Estate in Marlborough.
While in New Zealand, the opportunity arose to move back home and care for one of the oldest vineyards in the Pacific Northwest: Atavus Vineyard. Shortly after, Steven and partner Kris moved home to the Columbia Gorge with the intention of creating wines from this unique vineyard and begin the first of Analemma Wines.
Elizabeth Bourcier is a graduate of the Walla Walla Community College Institute for Enology and Viticulture. After completing her two-year associates degree, Elizabeth attended Cal Poly State Univeristy in San Luis Obispo, CA where she received a Bachelors degree in Viticulture. Elizabeth’s winemaking experience includes working as a harvest intern for Forgeron, and Bergevin Lane in Walla Walla as well as Summerwood Winery in Paso Robles. During her two years at school in Cal Poly, Elizabeth worked in the tasting room at Bonny Doon Vineyards, gaining experience with wine sales. In 2007, Elizabeth traveled to Argentina to work a harvest with Finca Koch in the Luján de Cuyo where she had her first experience working with Malbec, and Torrontes.
Since 2008, Elizabeth has been working as the Assistant Vigneronne for Cayuse Vineyards. It is here where she has furthered her knowledge of crafting world-class wines while also becoming familiar with biodynamic practices.
Elizabeth loves to travel and has been to wine regions in France, Italy, Chile, and Mexico learning about different wines and grape growing practices. She loves living in Walla Walla and enjoys cooking, running, snowboarding and spending time with her dog “Gris”.
Born and raised in the Columbia Valley, Laura Pursley grew up helping make her father’s hobby wine with her mother and seven siblings. Picking, stomping and pressing grapes at an early age cultivated a passion and career in the industry.
In 2001 Laura began a part-time harvest position at Benton-Lane Winery while living in Corvallis, Oregon. After participating in harvest for three years with Benton-Lane, Laura was inspired to travel overseas visiting a number of wine regions: Hunter Valley, Tasmania, Barossa and Clare Valleys of Australia; Marlborough, Nelson, Central Otago and Canterbury regions of New Zealand. Arriving home in 2004, Laura enrolled in the Walla Walla Community College Enology and Viticulture Program. While in school, Laura worked and interned with Forgeron Cellars, Woodward Canyon Winery, Ciel du Cheval Vineyards, and WSU Prosser IAREC. As a graduate of the Enology and Viticulture Program, Laura wanted to continue her education and did so at California Polytechnic State University, in San Luis Obispo, CA. With an academic emphasis on Viticulture, Laura explored her opportunities in California’s Central Coast working for Tablas Creek Vineyard, Per Bacco Cellars and Central Coast Vineyard Team. In 2007, Laura participated in a quarter long internship in the Rhone Valley working harvest in Cornas, France at Domaine A. Clape.
In 2008 Laura returned to the Walla Walla Valley accepting a Viticulturist position with Dusted Valley Vintners. After two vintages with Dusted Valley, Laura took a position as Assistant Vigneronne with Cayuse Vineyards in early 2010. Laura now plays an integral role in the management of the biodynamic vineyards, farms, and gardens at Cayuse.
Laura enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends and family. Laura and her boyfriend, Dan, live in Walla Walla with their two dogs, Thezier and Pippa.
Victor started working among the grapes at the early age of 13 as he followed his father, a vineyard foreman who tended vineyards in the Prosser area. Through his teens he continued to learn and practice the craftsmanship of growing the best premium quality grapes possible. He graduated in 2005 from the Walla Walla Institute of Enology and Viticulture, and feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some of the top rated producers in the Walla Walla Valley, Yakima Valley, Horse Heaven Hills and Rattle Snake Hills AVA’s. Understanding the regions and how the grapes perform in each of them brings Victor to the Wahluke Slope AVA. “I like to think I have an artistic language I share with the grapes, and the wine I humbly bring to your glass is my translation”.
After seeing the aspects and soils of the various sites of the Jones Family Vineyards, Victor knew he was in love again. “There is one vineyard site in particular I can almost say was love at first sight, but I will not say, at least not yet. I must respect my future grape wife.”
-Taken from the Jones of Washington website
Peterson, a University a Washington grad, worked at FedEx before deciding on winemaking as a vocation, so he headed east of the Cascasde Mountains to learn the craft at Walla Walla Community College. He was one of the vaunted program’s first graduates. After that, he landed at DeLille Cellars, working alongside Chris Upchurch, a winemaker who has perfected the category of high-end red blends in Washington.
While Peterson was an assistant winemaker at acclaimed DeLille Cellars, he met Marty Taucher, “We got to talking, and he wanted to do something fun, so we decided to get into business together.”
Avennia has completed just its third crush, yet the 1,600-case winery in Woodinville’s warehouse district already is producing head-turning wines, thanks to the talents of Peterson and Taucher. They chose the name Avennia as a homage to the French city of Avignon and crushed enough grapes to make 1,100 cases.
The first key to their success was their vineyard sources, and they are legendary: Sagemoor, Boushey, Alder Ridge, Red Willow and Kiona, among others.
“My DeLille connection opened the door, no doubt,” Peterson said. “But we still had to convince grape growers that we were serious. They really care about where their fruit goes, so it took some convincing.”
Avennia produces five wines: Sestina is a Bordeaux-style blend that leads with Cabernet Sauvignon; Gravura is a Bordeaux-style blend that includes barrels that didn’t make the cut for Sestina; Justine is a Rhône-style red blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah; Arnaut is the Boushey Vineyard Syrah; and Oliane is a Sauvignon Blanc using grapes from Boushey and Red Willow vineyards.
Avennia does not have a tasting room at its facility, though it does open its doors to customers three time per year for release parties. Sign up for Avennia’s mailing list on its website. To read the full article, click here.