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Winemaking

Philosophy

Wines are like stories, they're meant to be shared. Desert Wind's legacy and acclaimed wines are rooted in family and our sun-soaked Wahluke Slope AVA estate vineyard. Our philosophy on winemaking is simple: Start with grapes that show terrific potential and craft smooth, friendly, world-class wines you can drink every day. We've grown a lot since our first vines were planted in 1993, but one thing remains the same - our commitment to creating experiences that bring people together. 

Winemaking Team

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Matías Kúsulas

Winemaker | Viticulturist                   

 

A Chilean with Greek roots, Matías was a Marine officer and Naval Engineer in Chile for more than seven years when he realized that it was time to change the course of his career. In 2006, he started studying Agricultural Engineering at the University of Chile, where he graduated with distinction and a major in Viticulture and Enology. He worked in Chile for a few years and in 2011 decided to start traveling the world on a quest to learn new winemaking techniques. After several harvests in Oceania, Europe, and Africa, he settled down in France to do his post degrees at the Universities of Bordeaux and Montpellier. He also performed for two years as a Maître de Chai for one of the oldest and most reputable wineries in Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie.

After years of traveling and over 15 harvests, he came to the United States in 2016 and joined Gård Vintners/Lawrence Vineyards as a Production Winemaker and Viticulturist. He now serves as Head Winemaker for both Desert Wind and Gård Vintners.

Beyond overseeing viticulture for Lawrence Vineyards and Desert Wind, Kúsulas also serves as Viticulturist for the reputable Conner Lee Vineyard. He also makes wine for his own brand, Massalto, and for Valo Cellars, which share a tasting room in Vancouver, Washington. In his spare time, he likes to jump out of planes and is a Judo Black Belt.

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Hannah Coulson

Assistant Winemaker   

 

Growing up in a family of restaurateurs, Hannah learned to revere wine even before she could drink it. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Colby College, she joined the wine industry while living abroad in Marlborough, New Zealand. Putting her degree to use, Hannah worked in a winery laboratory before studying at Lincoln University where she earned a Graduate Diploma in Viticulture & Oenology with Distinction. Having completed nine New Zealand harvests, Hannah returned to the US in 2018 to settle in Washington state. Hannah joined our team at Desert Wind in 2021.

Currently pursuing a Certificate in Web Design from the University of Washington, she uses her previous programming and graphic design training every chance she gets. When she’s not behind a computer, at the winery or enjoying great food and wine, you’ll find her adventuring by foot or by kayak through the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.

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Benjamin Hieb

Enologist | Cellar Master                                        

 

Ben graduated from Washington State University with a Biology degree and entered the wine industry as a Harvest Lab Intern in Walla Walla wine country before joining our team as Enologist at Desert Wind in 2015.

 

When Ben is not in the lab or the cellar floor, he enjoys getting outdoors, camping and hiking and chowing down authentic barbeque: pulled pork or brisket!

Winemaking Production Assistants

 

Emmanuel Farias

Production Assistant     

Andrew Kowalski

Production Assistant                         

 

Steven Grabinski

Production Assistant 

John Sandoval

Production Assistant