Drew McQueen Bledsoe
For former NFL Quarterback Drew Bledsoe, owning a winery has been a longtime aspiration that would allow him to combine his passion for fine wine and the love of the Walla Walla Valley. Drew returned to his hometown in 2007 to plant his estate vineyard, McQueen, in SeVein Vineyards of Distinction. The following year, Drew launched Doubleback, an estate-focused winery with the goal to produce ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon from the Walla Walla Valley. To make this dream a reality, Drew and his wife Maura, are collaborating with Drew’s childhood friend and Consulting Winemaker, Chris Figgins of Figgins Family Wine Estates, known for producing Leonetti Cellar and FIGGINS.
The first release from Doubleback, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, was rewarded with a spot on the 2010 Wine Spectators Top 100 List. In early 2011, Drew acquired a second estate vineyard in SeVein, named Bob Healy, after his late father-in-law to further assist the production of high-quality Walla Walla Valley fruit for Doubleback.
The Bledsoe’s vision is to create a premium wine experience completely focused around quality. They are committed to using only the best viticulture and winemaking practices to ensure that Doubleback will be one of the best bottles of wine you will drink.Close
Chris began fine tuning his winemaking skills at a very early age by his natural immersion in the family business. Assisting his parents and founders, Gary and Nancy Figgins at Leonetti Cellar, after school and during the summers Chris learned every aspect of the wine business. After graduating from Washington State University with a degree in Horticulture – he “officially” joined Leonetti in 1996 and focused on moving Leonetti to an estate driven winery model. He became the head winemaker in 2001. Chris is known industry-wide for constantly pushing the envelope viticulturally in his vineyards. A frequent public speaker, Chris shares his love and intense passion for sustainable farming and biological soil health with other viticulturists, winemakers and diversified farmers whenever possible. Chris has been the consulting winemaker for Doubleback since its inception in 2007. In addition, Chris has several other projects under the Figgins Family Wine Estates company, namely FIGGINS and Lostine Cattle Company. Chris spends his down time with his two young girls and is outside skiing, fly fishing and hunting as much as possible.Close
Chris and Drew go back many years, as they grew up a stone’s throw from each other, some 400 yards from the Leonetti Cellar Estate in Walla Walla. After high school, they both went on to pursue their own ambitions and personal successes. The two reconnected in early 2007 when Drew made the decision to enter the wine business. After much research, Drew decided on his hometown of Walla Walla as his first choice for his vineyard and winery location. Chris was certainly at the top of Drew’s list for a consulting winemaker but was unsure of Chris’ interest outside of Leonetti Cellar. The timing was very serendipitous as Chris had just started Figgins Enological and was looking for the perfect client for his first consulting collaboration. Chris, having a very high respect for Drew, seriously entertained taking on Doubleback as his client and their business relationship became official in the spring of 2007 just as Drew announced his retirement from the NFL. Chris consults on all winemaking and viticulture practices as well as assisted in the vineyard design and planting for McQueen, Drew’s estate vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley. It is a true collaboration from dirt to bottle.Close
“I have always been intrigued by the entire production process, from vine to bottle, far more than I was about the mere acquisition and consumption of wine.” Drew Bledsoe
Drew Bledsoe & Chris Figgins
A True Collaboration