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Chateau Ste. Michelle Winemaker Katie Nelson Honored with Grand Vin Award by Washington Winegrowers

Woodinville, Wash.

Katie Nelson, Chateau Ste. Michelle Vice President of Winemaking, was recently honored with the Grand Vin Award by the Washington Winegrowers Association. The Grand Vin Award is given in recognition of extraordinary winemaking talent crafting exceptional wines impacting the winery, brand, winemaking process and industry at large. Selected by nominations from peers, the Washington Winegrowers honored Nelson with the award at the recent WineVit® convention in Kennewick, Washington, the state wine industry’s annual conference.

Colleagues Will Wiles, Columbia Crest winemaker, and Jessica Munnell, owner and winemaker of Wautoma Springs Winery, presented Nelson with the award describing her as “being on the cutting edge, putting quality first and always willing to try innovative techniques resulting in the best wines possible. For her, quality is priority and shortcuts should never be taken. She spends time in vineyards, building great relationships with growers and has continuously created award-winning wines. She’s the perfect balance between creativity and tenacity, has a steel trap memory and is three steps ahead of everyone. She is passionate about wine and has amazing attention to detail, excellent communication with her team and willingness to push everyone resulting in outstanding wines year after year. She is an amazing mentor and friend.”

Katie is the first woman to receive the Grand Vin Award.

“It was a surprise and an honor to be nominated by wine industry peers in a room full of many I have respected and worked closely with over my career as a winemaker in Washington,” says Nelson. “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is partnering with our family farmers to craft exciting, food-friendly, flavorful wines for people to enjoy and to continue to help Washington wines find their place on the world stage. It was a day I’ll never forget.”

With nearly 30 years of winemaking experience, Katie Nelson leads the state’s largest, most iconic and acclaimed winery, crafting a diverse range of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s award-winning wines. She began her career at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 1999 as an enologist, left briefly in 2015 only to return in 2018 as head winemaker for Columbia Crest, and ultimately promoted to Vice President of Winemaking for Chateau Ste. Michelle in 2021.

About Chateau Ste. Michelle

Chateau Ste. Michelle founded a wine region and we’re not done blazing trails yet. We honor our 55-year legacy of making world-class Washington wine, while taking bold steps to build our future with 2,600 acres of sustainably-farmed estate vineyards, state-of-the art cellar technology and talented, passionate winemaking team led by head winemaker Katie Nelson, with 30-years of Washington winemaking experience. Chateau Ste. Michelle continually strives to delight wine drinkers with an array of wine styles and immersive winery experiences and events, while staying focused on crafting award-winning, flavorful wines that are the ultimate expressions of Washington state. For more information, visit

About Washington Winegrowers

The Washington Winegrowers Association serves as the synergistic leader and unifying voice – through advocacy and education – for growers, vintners, partners, and policymakers.