Marie-Eve Gilla of Forgeron Cellars
9 September 2015
Marie-Eve Gilla learned winemaking at the University of Dijon and in the Burgundy region of France. She came to Walla Walla in 2001 and has found her training in Burgundy to be excellent preparation for making fine wines in Washington. Although Chardonnay is her signature wine, she now works with a diverse array of varietals, including ones not often found in WA such as primitivo, which Marie-Eve refers to as "zinfandel on steroids."
Linking primitivo to zinfandel is no accident, as they are genetically the same grape. Primitivo tends to be the term used in Italy and zinfandel in California. There can be differences in cluster sizes between the two, and different terroir and winemaking techniques have led over the years to different taste profiles, despite the genetic similarity in the grapes. In the U.S. wine labels may not use the terms primitivo and zinfandel interchangeably. Forgeron Cellars is the only winery I know of in Washington that produces both a primitivo and a zinfandel.
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