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Pioneers of Washington Wine Narrow the Generation Gap with Promotion of Millennial Winemaker


Emily HainesJuly 27, 2016 – Milbrandt Vineyards announced it is promoting 33-year old Emily Haines to Head Winemaker, making her one of the youngest in Washington to oversee a large winery producing more than 40,000 cases.

It’s apropos farming pioneers Butch and Jerry Milbrandt – considered forefathers of Washington Wine Country – put faith and confidence in a charismatic Millennial with multiple tattoos.

The winery owners say that while narrowing the generation gap is exciting for their brand, the decision was based on Emily’s talent and drive.

“Emily joined our team in 2009 and was immersed in this brand on day one, always asking for more and more responsibility,” said winery owner Butch Milbrandt.

“She has the experience and passion to take on a portfolio of over 20 varietals.  She takes risks while creating unique opportunities for all to connect to our wines, whether it’s a premium single vineyard or an inviting wine of value.”

While the Milbrandt brothers are excited to promote the next generation of winemaking, it’s a bittersweet handoff.  The Milbrandts are very proud of Joshua Maloney, the vineyard’s award-winning former winemaker.  Maloney received a record-breaking number of 90-point scores during his five year tenure at the 20 year old winery.  Maloney is now focusing on consulting and his own brand, Maloney, which in its first release made Seattle Met’s list of “Top 100 Wines of 2015” with the 2012 Elephant Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

The baton will now be passed to Haines, a certified live music fanatic and homebrew artisan, who grew up in a “dry” household just minutes from what would become the Woodinville Wine District.   She graduated from Eastern Washington University with a double major in Biology and Chemistry with emphasis in Biotechnology and Biochemistry.

Haines headed back to Eastern Washington to work the 2008 Harvest at Desert Wind Winery.  In July 2009, she accepted a job as Lab Tech and began working closely with Milbrandt Vineyards’ then-winemaker Gordon Hill.  She took over white winemaking for the 2011 harvest under the direction of Maloney and has since helped garner 90-plus scores on several wines including the recent 2014 Milbrandt Vineyards “The Estates’ Chardonnay and 2014 “The Estates’ Viognier.

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