Milbrandt Vineyards recently promoted 33-year old Emily Haines as Head Winemaker, making her one of the youngest winemakers to oversee a large winery producing over 40,000 cases.
It’s apropos farming pioneers Butch and Jerry Milbrandt, considered forefathers of Washington Wine Country, put faith and confidence in a charismatic multi-tattooed Millennial. The winery owners say that while narrowing the generational gap is exciting for their brand, the decision was based on Emily’s talent and drive than age.
“Emily joined our team in 2009 and she was immersed in this brand since day one, always asking for more and more responsibility,” said winery owner Butch Milbrandt.
“She has the experience and passion to take on a portfolio of over 20 varietals. She takes risks while creating unique opportunities for all to connect to our wines, whether it’s a premium single vineyard or an inviting wine of value.”
Haines, a certified live music fanatic and homebrew artisan, who grew up in a “dry” household just minutes from what would become the Woodinville Wine District. She attended Eastern Washington University where she graduated with a double major in Biology and Chemistry with emphasis in Biotechnology and Biochemistry.
Haines headed back to Eastern Washington to work the 2008 Harvest at Desert Wind Winery and then in July 2009, accepted a job as Lab Tech and began working closely with then Milbrandt Vineyards winemaker Gordy Hill. She took over white winemaking for the 2011 harvest under the direction of Josh Maloney and has since helped garner 90-plus scores on several wines including the recent Milbrandt Vineyards 2014 The Estates Chardonnay and 2014 The Estates Viognier.