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With a team of talented and passionate people, DAMA Wines combines the expertise of creative women in the vineyards, the cellar, and the tasting room with amazing fruit and science and artistry. DAMA’s wines hold a story in every bottle – and we have many stories we hope to share with you!
Judith always chose the road less traveled. Looking back, she only paid attention to the shoulder fairy who said “Forget the risk. Go for it!” Growing up in the City of Chicago she became street-wise with few expectations and imagined she would be an artist someday. Self-supporting at a young age, she honed her business skills and obtained her degree in Psychology working full time in a Chicago law firm as an accountant. Then came Yale Law School thanks to a generous grant program, and when the time came to get back to work, she selected Seattle on a map. With the primary goals of family, friends and independence, she became one of the first female tax and business lawyers in the City and became a partner in the law firm of Davis Wright. She remained attached to the world of art, and served for years on the Board of Seattle Shakespeare Company.
Listening once again to her annoying shoulder fairy, Judith left her comfortable life with 2 small children in tow to start her own company. The first years of her woman-owned business (a specialized real estate company of “landmen”) almost did her in, but after 17 years, she sold the national company to an international engineering company and moved to Walla Walla to drink wine and have fun. She bought 40 acres south of town and ventured into the world of wine, both drinking and learning. Always a fan of the wines crafted by Mary Derby, she became a partner in DAMA in 2009 . “Thank you, shoulder fairy.”
Judith now lives with Gracie, the DAMA winery dog, surrounded by crops, sculptures, and spectacular views — potentially the future vineyard property for DAMA Estate Wines. She is devoted to the wine industry, a few remaining legal clients, her amazing family and friends, her work for non-profits, and always the arts.
Judith Shulman can be contacted at email@example.com.
Mary is a wine-loving, family-doting, classically-trained opera-singing, food fanatic from rural Minnesota. After years of pursuing careers in opera, food and wine, she moved with her husband to the Walla Walla Valley. Beginning in 2000, she and her late husband, Devin, created the brand and wines of Spring Valley Vineyard, then achieving acclaim as some of the best wines in Washington and nationally. Devin’s tragic death in 2004 forced Mary to decide between starting her own wine venture in Walla Walla or returning to the midwest with her young son. Nine nationally-recognized winemakers helped make this decision, by creating together from their own grapes a one-time Syrah vintage called “Devin” with the proceeds going to Mary to help financially. With this act of love from her dear friends and community, Mary was able to remain in the Walla Walla wine industry and started DAMA Wines. She soon became recognized for her natural talents and exceptional palette, which enables her to craft a wide range of Bordeaux and Rhone style wines, and also explore newer varietals grown in Washington with great results.
Mary’s history and passion, as well as her singing, add multiple dimensions to the wines she creates. Using the skills learned from her wine-making mentors, and her unforgiving palate, Mary creates wines with unusual balance and interest, or “squillo.” In singing, squillo is the vibration of the voice that is heard after a note has been sung.
Mary Derby can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lori is a native to the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, IL. After experimenting with other locations across the country, Lori made her way to Walla Walla to further her wine education including completing the Certified Specialist of Wine program through the Society of Wine Educators.
“By taking on the challenging role of Tasting Room Manager with this talented team of women at DAMA I have learned the depth and scope of running and creating a wine tasting room experience and brand”.
Lori comes to DAMA with a true passion for great wine and its artistry, and a desire to learn more about the processes that make up the wine business. As Tasting Room Manager, she works to create a true one-of-a-kind experience for all of the guests — Wine Society members, wine tasters, and special events.
Lori lives with her husband, Dave Mitchell and rescued dog, Mingus (Mingus the Dingus). When not in the tasting room she is riding her horses or having fun cooking up something for friends.
Lori Mitchell can be contacted at email@example.com.
Allison has been part of the Walla Walla community her entire life. She spent her compulsory schooling years in the Walla Walla school district, played on many sports teams and was an active member in community organizations. She went away to college, but moved back as she knew Walla Walla was a great place to live and raise a family. As a school teacher for 19 years she was able to make other connections in the community and through the school organizations.
“I have also worked in the Walla Walla wine industry for the past 19 years. First as a tasting room associate at Dunham Cellars Winery, eventually taking over their wine club manager position. Then, I was hired full time with Cadaretta Winery as their District Sales Manager”
Joining the DAMA Wines team in the fall of 2020 to take on the responsibilities of managing the DAMANation Wine Society accounts and Direct to Consumer duties with the same enthusiasm and professionalism she has shown in her past endeavors.
“Working with this DAMA Team is very fun and exciting”
Allison is married to her husband of 30 years, Keven and has two children and an adorable grandchild (just ask her).
Allison Peck can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greeting you with a smile and a taste or glass of wine, we hope to see you soon.
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