Echolands Winery Announces Hiring of Brian Rudin as Winemaker and G.M.
Echolands Winery has announced that Brian Rudin has been hired as the new Winemaker and General Manager for its two estates in the Walla Walla Valley AVA. Co-owned by Doug Frost, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier, and Conservationist Brad Bergman, Echolands owns Taggart Vineyard in the famed “North Slope” of SeVein Vineyards, as well as a 27,000 square-foot production facility located on a 341-acre site in the Mill Creek area of the Walla Walla Valley set to open this fall.
Rudin, whose winemaking acumen builds on his past leadership roles with Duckhorn Wine Company and their Red Mountain label, Canvasback, will oversee winemaking operations, viticulture, team management and hospitality for Echolands. Rudin’s role succeeds that of Echolands’ former Winemaker, Taylor Oswald, who helped found and grow the winery from its inception in 2018.
“I was drawn to Echolands because of their innovative style and direction, the monumental influence of Doug Frost’s leadership and expertise, and the limitless potential of winegrowing within the Walla Walla Valley,” Rudin said. “There’s been a flourishing spirit of experimentation in the Walla Walla Valley pushing the boundaries of elevations and varieties, showing inventiveness with wine styles, and exploring all the emerging subregions within this AVA. Echolands brings a fresh, holistic approach to their winemaking, and has been fearlessly rewriting the rules to create energetic and exciting wines.”
“Taylor [Oswald] has placed us on a great pathway, and we’re eternally grateful for everything he has done for us,” said Frost. “Brian is the perfect guy to lead us onward as we complete the new winery with its remarkable tasting room and a pretty damned ideal production area, all while building on the legacy of nuanced and, we’d like to think, elegant, long-lived wines.”
Rudin brings more than 17 years of winemaking experience to his new role as Echolands’ Winemaker and General Manager. As a lifelong Washington native, Rudin’s career has grown alongside the boom of the state’s wine industry. He grew up in the eastern farm region of Wenatchee, graduated from Western Washington University and moved to Walla Walla in 2006, where he graduated from Walla Walla Community College’s School of Enology & Viticulture while pursuing the Court of Masters’ Certified Sommelier credential.
Following his certification, Rudin worked as a production manager for Alder Ridge Vineyard and Zefina Winery and then as a winemaker for Cadaretta and Buried Cane Vineyards. Prior to his role at Echolands, he spent nine years as the winemaker for Duckhorn Wine Company, where he helped launch Duckhorn’s Red Mountain label, Canvasback.
Upcoming developments under Rudin’s new leadership include several new releases and the opening of Echolands’ 27,000-square-foot winemaking and production facility in Mill Creek, which will feature a hospitality center and separate storage facility. Mill Creek will continue the sustainability initiatives for which Taggart Vineyard was honored with the Sustainable WA designation, with Rudin’s keen focus on viticulture aiding biodiversity efforts in the vineyards. As Mill Creek’s new plantings come of age, Rudin and the Echolands team will balance the differences in terroir offered by Mill Creek, the SeVein Water Project and local growers.
About Echolands Winery
Echolands Winery was founded in 2018 by renowned wine expert Doug Frost, one of only three people in the world to hold both the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier titles, in partnership with investor and conservationist Brad Bergman. Winemaker Brian Rudin will manage vineyard relations and winemaking, working with Vineyard Manager Sadie Drury and North Slope Management to operate the 50-acre Taggart Vineyard within the SeVein Water Project, located on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley.
The team is currently developing a 341-acre site in the Mill Creek area of the Walla Walla Valley AVA in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, one of the highest elevations in Washington State. Scheduled to be operational by fall 2023, Mill Creek will house a dedicated winemaking, hospitality and barrel facility. Visitors to Walla Walla are currently welcome to taste the full portfolio at Echolands’ downtown Walla Walla tasting room at 7 West Alder St.