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About Gorman Winery


The Birth

Chris Gorman descended into the wine business after graduating from university in 1991. Apparently too affected to climb out, he made the best of it. Cutting his teeth on world class Barolo and Barbaresco, he spent 3 years working for a small Italian importer and never looked back.

For the next decade, as a main stay in the Seattle wine trade, Chris was lucky to represent some of the finest wines in the world. He traveled extensively in the wine areas of Italy, Spain and Germany. His is a simple philosophy: to make wine, it is imperative to understand it. Those early years found him producing small batch wines, using “stolen fruit” from many of Washington’s best vineyards. In 2002, Gorman Winery went commercial.

The Life

Since 2002 the mission was very clear. Make delicious wines. Choose the finest grapes in Washington state, use the finest coopers and suppliers, don’t settle, and don’t screw it up. We have no employees and better yet no Board of Directors. All decision making is very simple. We are currently a two-man winery, with the occasional use of volunteer help for harvest, bottling and partying.

Producing under 3,000 cases a year makes focusing primarily on quality very manageable. And that focus has been primarily on Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. For our style, the muscular nature of this fruit is a perfect match. Our close relationship with some of the greatest fruit growers in Washington state has been a major factor in our success in producing top quality wines. In 2006, we added our first white wine, the Big Sissy Chardonnay, and in 2009 we added our first dessert wine, the Cry Baby.

Open only a few times a year to the public and consumers, our parties have been very well received. With a mix of incredibly loud music, delicious foods and great energy, our openings have been “hot ticket” events.

The Death

How does Gorman Winery stay alive and kicking? Quality, quality and more quality! With the prices of super-premium fruit, barrels, glass and stainless steel climbing, it is tempting to look for lesser alternatives. This is not part of the Gorman Winery concept. We remain committed to producing some of the finest wines in the world. Yep… the world. Washington state is more than capable of competing against the finest wines in the world.

These are exciting times in Washington state and we are proud to be part of it. With much of our wines designated to our mailing list and select accounts, supply has always been an issue. We hope to increase quantities slowly, while maintaining superior quality. We welcome new customers as we grow.

Meet The Staff


Chris Gorman
Owner/Winemaker
With 20 years in the wine industry, ten of those in wine production, and experience around the world rubbing shoulders with the finest wine professionals, Chris is well-equipped to have the keys to super-premium Washington winery, Gorman Winery. For almost ten years, he has been the only employee, focusing closely on high quality fruit and oak in small production and wearing many hats on the sales, marketing and events side of the business. Wine Spectator named him one of ten rising stars in American winemaking in 2008.

Ben Paplow
Assistant Winemaker

Spending his younger days studying chemistry - and nights drinking with poets and vagabonds - Ben has winemaking in his blood.  All eyes are on Mr. Paplow in the local winemaking community of Woodinville as one of the rising-stars in this industry.  Rumor has it, he has a few barrels of his own project hidden away at Gorman Winery.