Director of Winemaking
Gilles Nicault has served as director of winemaking and viticulture since Long Shadows' inception in 2003. As resident winemaker overseeing daily operations at Long Shadows state-of-the-art winery in Walla Walla, Gilles works with a group of celebrated vintners from around the globe. It is his job to ensure that each winemaker's vision is realized in the vineyard and the cellar.
While many winemakers would find this proposition a daunting task, French-born Nicault describes the position as his "dream job." Those who know Gilles best say it is his insatiable curiousity and desire to learn something new every day as well as his winemaking skills that make him uniquely qualified for the position. In addition to executing daily operations at the winery, Gilles is the winemaker for Long Shadows' acclaimed Chester-Kidder, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah blend that carries his signature.
Gilles grew up in southern France and graduated from the University of Avignon with a degree in viticulture and enology. He honed his craft in the fabled hillside vineyards and wineries of Cotes du Rhone, Provence and Champagne. In 1994, already a vintner of rising fame in his homeland, Gilles traveled to Washington State to expand his winemaking skills.
Impressed by Washington State's vineyards and the opportunity to be part of a growing wine community, he stayed in the Columbia Valley, working for Staton Hills and Hogue Cellars before joining Woodward Canyon in 1996, where he stayed until moving to Long Shadows in June 2003. Sharing Woodward Canyon's passion for world-class wines, Gilles soon found Woodward Canyon's founder Rick Small was his ideal mentor and biggest champion. In 1999, Woodward Canyon named Gilles head of enology and production.
Gilles is married to French-born winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla of Forgeron Cellars, an acclaimed winemaker in her own right. The couple lives in Walla Walla with their two children.