In 2002, visionary Allen Shoup set out on a mission to find some of the most highly acclaimed international winemakers to create a portfolio of wines, Old World and New, that would take Washington wine to a whole new level. The result? Long Shadows Vintners.
Allen spent 20 years building the renowned Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington State’s oldest winery, into an international brand that wouldn’t be what it is today without his efforts. When starting Long Shadows Vintners, Allen only wanted to be a piece of the puzzle. In order to have the wine and the brand identity shine to its fullest ability, he needed some of the best winemakers in the business to take part. He sought out to find some of Europethe world’s greatest legends. Those winemakers now consist of Gilles Nicault as director of winemaking and viticulture, Randy Dunn, John Duval, Philippe Melka, Michel Rolland, Armin Diel, and father-and-son winemakers, Ambrogio and Giovani Folonari. Why a group of several winemakers from all over the world for one brand? It had everything to do with vision, to enable these international winemakers to cast their own shadows through their wines.The Wines
Seeking out the best winemakers from all over the world was no easy task and only half of the plan, so Allen had to be peculiar in his decisions as it ultimately came down to the most important piece: the wine. The idea was to find unique winemakers who could accept the challenge of producing a single Columbia Valley wine that represents a “best of type.” That idea soon became a reality. The first Long Shadows wine released in 2004 was the Poet’s Leap Riesling crafted by Armin Diel, one of the most highly acclaimed Riesling producers. It’s a vibrant, expressive Washington wine and a staple in our portfolio.
Next came the first reds to be released — the 2002 Chester-Kidder red wine and the 2003 Sequel Syrah. The Chester-Kidder is named after Allen’s mother, Elizabeth Chester, and his grandmother, Maggie Kidder. Allen asked the Director of Winemaking and Viticulture, Gilles Nicault, to be the one to make this New World blend of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Sequel Syrah is made by John Duval who for 16 years was the winemaker for Australia’s iconic Penfolds Grange. He came to the Columbia Valley for his “Sequel” to his life’s work with Syrah and it could not have been a better fit for the Long Shadows brand.
Following the Spring of 2006 and the months to follow came the 2003 Feather Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003 Pirouette red wine, 2003 Pedestal Merlot, and the 2004 Saggi Sangiovese. Each unique in more ways than one and handcrafted by extraordinary winemakers. The portfolio of wines went on to receive awards such as Wine Enthusiast “Top 100 Wines of 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2012”, Seattle Times “Top 50 Wines of 2016”, and more.
As you can see, Allen built his vision not only on history but on the future. Each winemaker has countless stories to tell, and they’ve shared them through their wines and continue to do so. Long Shadows’ goal is to take the history behind the wines in order to affect the future of our customers, to have a place in their lives one way or another.The Family
There would be no Long Shadows without the family behind it. From the tasting room team to the winemakers to the Key Club members, our collective family is what makes it all possible. In 2005, Dane Narbaitz, Allen’s stepson, joined the team as director of sales and marketing. In January 2008, he was named president. The family ties continued to strengthen when Dane’s wife Sara became director of communications in 2011. Shortly after, Allen’s son Ryan Shoup was brought on as the retail manager to oversee the tasting room in Woodinville and sister company, Nine Hats Wines and adjoining restaurant Nine Pies Pizzeria in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood. The close bond the Long Shadows team holds is what underscores everything Allen has strived for.
Day in and day out it starts and ends with Allen’s vision. Since starting the brand he has received many awards and accomplished several goals such as opening two tasting rooms in Walla Walla and Woodinville. If you happen to find yourself in either of those areas sometime soon, please reserve a tasting with us! We would love to share our story with you. At Long Shadows, it starts with the family and ends with wine, and we hope you will join us on our winemaking journey. Cheers!