Hugh Shiels has been dubbed the
Vineyard Master. Hugh and Kathy Shiels planted the DuBrul Vineyard
in 1992. They purchased the property in 1991 then tore out the
original apple orchard that winter. Their focus is to improve
the vineyard every year, nurturing this spectacular site.
Hugh and Kathy settled in Sunnyside after Hugh completed his
Orthopedic Surgery training in Memphis. They raised three beautiful
children on their farm in Sunnyside. Hugh continues to practice
Hugh works with vineyard manager Larry Dolan and the crew as
they deal with the variables that winegrowing presents each
year. In addition to his involvement in orthopedics and the
DuBrul Vineyard, Hugh is intimately involved in the cellar work
of Côte Bonneville. He loves to cycle.
Larry Dolan has managed our vineyard
from the beginning, learning the nuances of a very difficult
site. He is now able to micro-adjust water, nutrition, canopy
management, and pest control within individual blocks. He served
as a U.S. Air Force pilot after graduation from Eastern Washington
Rick Hamman is our viticultural consultant for the DuBrul Vineyard. He is the director of viticulture for Hogue Ranches and Mercer Estate Winery, and he serves as a commissioner on the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration. Rick arrived in Washington in 1999, brought by Wade Wolfe to lead the viticulture team at Hogue Cellars. Prior to that, he was the first viticulture specialist for Colorado State University who guided the developing Colorado wine industry for over a decade. Rick worked in Cornell University’s Long Island research lab as a viticulture extension specialist, spent four years in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, and earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in horticulture from Colorado State University.
Wade Wolfe laid out our vineyard
initially, and then monitored our struggles through the early
drought years. His directives proved accurate, enabling vine
placement to bring forth the best aspects of our site. Wade
is currently focused on the expansion of his family winery,
Thurston Wolfe. He served as past president of the Yakima Valley
appellation group Wine Yakima Valley. Wade earned B.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from U.C. Davis.
Stan Clarke directed the development of our
DuBrul Vineyard from 1996 until his untimely death in November
2007. At the time of his death Stan was the Viticulture Coordinator
at the Walla Walla Institute of Enology and Viticulture. During
his 30 years in the Washington wine industry, Stan had performed
every job imaginable, including viticulturist, winemaker, winery
general manager, wine competition judge, and wine writer. After
graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, he earned a second
Baccalaureate degree from U.C. Davis in viticulture, then a
Master’s degree in teaching from Washington State University.
Stan’s legacy is that of a truly great educator though one
would not surmise so when first meeting him. This high energy
man had no ego, usually wore shorts, and had the Grateful Dead
playing in the background.
An avid learner, he was a sublime teacher. His students were
drawn by his kindness, enthusiasm, depth of knowledge, and remarkable
ability to transmit the lessons of each new day.
For 12 years he walked us through the vineyard, sharing his
encyclopedic knowledge of Washington vintages. From the beginning
he taught sustainable winegrowing. He was able to transform
the newest concepts into simple adjustments for the ladies of
our vineyard crew.