"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
In our opinion, Shakespeare nailed this quote. Our business is not about our name, or our marketing, branding, wine scores, etc.- our business is about our vineyards, our wines and the people behind them. However, since being bonded as a Washington State winery in 2007, we have learned the importance to the answer of that question is much greater than we imagined in our infancy. In 2007, I was in High School here in Walla Walla, and Sweet Valley, to me and our partners, represented the great agricultural community that Walla Walla is and its famous product, the Sweet Onion. As time went on, and our wine quality increased year after year, we quickly realized that for serious wines, we needed to be represented in a more serious way. The misconceptions from our name could not be a roadblock for the perception of quality in the bottle. Much like in life, we encountered the unfortunate misconception of our label to be a negative reflection of what is on the inside. Being a small winery, we need people to give us a chance and not allow our name to be a roadblock to that chance. Today, we are proud and very happy to announce that we are now making that change. The word Protege means:
a person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person.
In all of our lives, we have felt the power of great relationships and mentors. For me personally, my Family like my Dad and my Wife, winemakers like Chris Figgins, teachers, coaches, and a number of other people that I have been blessed with have been great mentors to me. For that reason, I believe that I am the protege of those people and thus, so are our wines.
Finding a name to suit the winery has been a painstakingly long effort. One with deep personal reflection as well as difficult analysis of what the winery has developed in to and where we want it to go in the future. This is not an overnight change but we hope you bear with us and be patient! We are presently doubling down on our efforts, turning over a new leaf, and focusing completely on quality dirven, Walla Walla Valley Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah. Now, more than ever, we are grateful for your support, generosity, and advocation over the years. We firmly believe that these wines are not just the "protege" of us, but also the "protege" of you and your support. Thank you.