Long Shadows is a portfolio of Washington State wineries that each produce premium wines under the Long Shadows umbrella. It was founded in 2002 by Allen Shoup, one of the founders of the Washington wine industry. Shoup spent 17 years as CEO of Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington’s largest winery, where he was instrumental in bringing recognition to the state’s wines. Long Shadows sources grapes from vineyards through Eastern Washington, some owned by the Long Shadows partners, which besides Shoup include nine renowned winemakers each responsible for one or more of Long Shadows’ wines. The wines are are mostly Cabernet or Syrah based reds, though there is also a Riesling. The idea is, according to Shoup, that each winemaker will make a Columbia Valley wine that represents the “best of its type.”
Columbia Valley AVA is larger than some states. At 18,000 square miles, or 11 million acres, the appellation covers almost half of Washington State and a small part of Oregon on the south side of the Columbia River. Established in 1984, Columbia Valley contains numerous sub appellations within its boundaries, including Yakima Valley AVA and Walla Walla AVA, both large and important wine districts. Columbia Valley AVA, generally called the Columbia Basin by Pacific Northwesterners, is in the Columbia River Plateau, and the AVA also includes a section of northeastern Oregon. There are dozens of microclimates within this appellation of about 7,000 vineyard acres. Many kinds of grapes are grown in the Columbia Valley, though the principal grapes planted are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. Eastern Washington experiences very hot summers and cold winters, and the northern latitude means that Washington vineyards receive several more hours of sun in the summer than California vineyards. Grapes in Washington therefore have time to develop significant tannins and overall ripeness.