Honorary Vintner and Grower
Since 1999, the Auction of Washington Wines has honored industry leaders for their contributions to the Washington wine industry. Each year, nominations are put forth by members of the industry and considerations include their service and/or leadership in any industry or affiliated organization(s) and overall contribution to the Washington wine industry and service to their communities. These honorees represent the state’s more than 350 wine grape growers and more than 700 vintners and this is a great honor selected by their peers.
Larry and Dick Olsen, Olsen Brothers Vineyards
A former journalist, Dick formed Olsen Brothers Vineyards with his brother Larry in 1972, raising a diversified group of crops including apples, cherries, juice grapes, blue berries and wine grapes on what was once 29 different farms and ranches. More than forty years later, the farm now grows 21 different wine grape varieties and sells to 28 different wineries.
Dick was a founding member of the Washington State Wine Commission and previously held industry leadership positions including President of the Washington State Horticultural Association and Chairman of the Board of Tree Top Corp. He was given the Industry Service Award by the Washington Wine Grape Growers Association in 1997.
Larry shares in his brother’s industry leading-leading track record, holding positions as Chairman of the Board of Washington Apple Commission and Boardmember of USApple, winning the national “Apple Man of the Year” award in 2004.
Tom and Anne-Marie Hedges, Hedges Family Estate
In the early years of Hedges Family Estate, Tom pulled from his background in produce marketing and sales while Anne-Marie, a native of France, infused her knowledge of fine wine and the importance of vineyard location while managing the non-marketing and sales areas of the business. Founded in 1986, with a vineyard planted on Red Mountain in 1990, the Hedges have been pioneers of the Washington state wine industry for nearly 30 years.
Tom and Anne-Marie have each been active in industry leadership and non-profit work. In addition to founding the Red Mountain AVA Alliance, Tom has held positions including Chairman of the Washington State Wine Commission, Director of the Wine Institute, Director of the Columbia Tower Club, and Chair of the PONCHO Wine Auction. Anne-Marie has served as Co-chair of the PONCHO Wine Auction with Stacy Lill and Kathleen Shoup. Together they have Co-Chaired the Celebrity Waiters Auction for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (Washington and Alaska) and are both board members of the Seattle Police Foundation.