2022 Honorary Winery
This year, the vinNEBRASKA Foundation Board is pleased to acknowledge the generosity and long-term commitment of DeLille Cellars, the first winery from Washington State to be named our Honorary Winery. DeLille Cellars have been faithful participants in vinNEBRASKA since 2018, and their generosity knows no bounds. Please be sure to find and thank their representatives for all that they have contributed to our event, and to our charity partners, over the years.
DeLille Cellars is a pioneer of red and white Bordeaux-style blends in Washington State and is considered a principal influence in establishing Washington as a premier viticultural region over its 30-year history. Founded in 1992 by Jay Soloff, winemaker Chris Upchurch, and Charles and Greg Lill, the winery’s passion lies in showcasing the powerful, concentrated and structured fruit of the region through the European art of blending, with a focus on Red Mountain and the state’s oldest and most prestigious vineyard sites throughout the Columbia Valley. Today, the winery has a portfolio of more than dozen Bordeaux and Rhône style blends true to the terroir of the state. DeLille’s winery, tasting room and restaurant are located at the Old Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, Washington.
DeLille Cellars has crafted over 200 wines with successive vintage ratings of 90+, totaling over 700 individual 90+ scores from leading critics. DeLille Cellars holds the coveted position in the ‘Top 100’ Guides of Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast for both red and white wine (D2, Signature Syrah, Chaleur Blanc), as well as being honored as a Wine & Spirits Top 100 Winery (2017-2020) and Wine Enthusiast Wine Star – Top Five American Wineries. DeLille Cellars was one of the first five wineries in Washington State to receive Robert Parker’s 5-star/Outstanding rating.
After graduating from Arizona State University with degrees in Education and Political Science, and minors in General Business and Humanities, Jay’s career began in 1975 as one of the first fine wine sommeliers in Seattle. In 1980, he decided to broaden his audience and as a wine broker brought boutique, award winning wines to fine wine merchants and restaurants. After more than 15 successful years, he joined forces with the parent company of Corus Brands/Columbia Winery as their Director of National Imports, Sales and Marketing sharing the excellence of Washington State with the world. Jay continued his dedication to the wine industry by taking the position of Senior VP of Marketing for Larry’s Markets, the gourmet grocery store chain introducing the concept of ‘farm to table’ long before it was a household phrase. During this time, Jay continued to move toward his goal of creating a world-class Washington winery that became a reality in 1992. As a co-founder, he has created and implemented the sales and marketing strategy for DeLille Cellars on a national scale. Committed to his affinity for community as much as his love of wine, Jay has also served as Vice President and board member of the Washington State Wine Institute as well as board member of the Washington State Wine Commission over his illustrious career.
history of the honorary winery
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