Wine Industry Advisor
January 11, 2018

Wine’s Most Inspiring People 2018

Chris Upchurch

Chris Upchurch is at a point in his life where the temptation is to look back, at more than 26 years as a winemaker and partner at Washington state powerhouse DeLille Cellars, at stints as a wine merchant and culinary school and as a chef in restaurant kitchens, at trips to hundreds of wineries and vineyards and dining rooms around the globe.

“I’ve spent my adult lifetime discovering what is so unique about out here,” he said during a wide-ranging interview. “You know, it’s been wonderful for me.”

Still, the New Jersey native and Wine Industry Advisor pick for one of Wine’s Most Inspiring People 2018 has 18.5 acres on Red Mountain, overlooking the Yakima Valley, as his motivation to look ahead. He and wife Thea purchased the land more than 10 years ago, establishing Upchurch Vineyard for the future.

Related: Washington Winemakers Tree Branches Out from Chris Upchurch Mentorship

“My wife, she’s really the risk-taker,” Upchurch said. “She’s really the one that wanted me to start the Upchurch Vineyard. I’m sitting there going, you know, I’m at DeLille, and all this stuff. And she said, ‘You know, DeLille will never be generational.’ See, that’s the problem. I have too many partners at DeLille, so it will never be generational for me, and all this history and all these people that are generational; even Antinori has Col Solari up here in Washington State. He’s the 27th Antinori to make wine. How cool is that?”>>>Read the entire article on Wine Industry Advisor