Allen Shoup is widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of the Washington wine industry.
Allen Shoup is widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of the Washington wine industry. He spent 20 years building Chateau Ste. Michelle and its affiliate wineries, serving as the company’s CEO for 17 of those years. Currently, he is managing partner of Long Shadows Vintners, a company he founded in 2002. Long Shadows is a continuation of Allen’s on-going commitment to building the reputation of Washington wines. He credits his close friend and mentor Robert Mondavi, who famously conceived the Opus One collaboration, as the guide for his vision.
Allen’s idea for Long Shadows was as simple as it was complex: recruit a cadre of the finest winemakers in the world; give each vintner access to Washington State's best grapes; and outfit a winery to accommodate a diverse group of winemakers' exacting cellar specifications. The concept quickly sold itself. Industry luminaries Michel Rolland (Pomerol), John Duval (Barossa Valley), Randy Dunn (Napa Valley), Philippe Melka (Napa Valley), Armin Diel (Nahe Valley) and Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari (Tuscany), all joined the project. From the beginning, the wines have enjoyed critical acclaim that has continued to grow year over year.
Allen began his wine career in Modesto, Calif. as a marketing director for Gallo. He joined Chateau Ste. Michelle, then a small, unnoticed winery in Woodinville, Wash. in 1980. While CEO of Chateau Ste. Michelle, Allen developed such well-known wines as Columbia Crest and Domaine Ste. Michelle and led Washington State from a 4,000-acre region of unsung vineyards into a world-class 33,000-acre Columbia Valley appellation. Under his leadership, company revenues grew from $5 million to $175 million. As Ste. Michelle CEO, Allen also initiated joint ventures that brought Tuscany’s Piero Antinori and Germany’s Dr. Ernst Loosen to Washington. Out of these partnerships came Col Solare, a red wine styled in the Bordeaux tradition, and Eroica Riesling, a wine credited with sparking a Riesling renaissance in America.
Allen has received numerous industry and business awards in recognition of his work on behalf of Washington wine, including Sunset magazine’s “Lifetime Achievement Award,” the Auction of Washington Wine’s Honorary Vintner award and the Clore Center’s Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate named him a “Personality of the Year” in 1990. He was inducted into the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine as a Supreme Knight in 1995. In 2017, the International Federation of Wine Brotherhoods presented Allen with its highest award, the Diploma of Honor.
Allen founded the Washington Wine Institute and the Auction of Washington Wines. He helped create the Washington Wine Commission and was instrumental in organizing the American Vintners Association. He is the founding chairman of AWARE (Association for Wine Accurate Research and Education). He has served on the Washington Wine Industry Foundation board, California Wine Institute Board, the Century Council, the Presidents Forum, and many other industry associations as well as on the board of several prominent Seattle-area visual and performing arts groups. A native of Michigan, Allen did graduate work at Eastern Michigan University and earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan. He resides in Seattle with his wife Kathleen.