The Washington Wine Industry Foundation (WWIF) recently welcomed Brian Carter and Jerry Judkins-Smith as new members on its Board of Directors.
Brian Carter is the owner and winemaker of Brian Carter Cellars. Since his arrival on the Washington State wine scene in 1980 when there were just 16 wineries, Brian’s involvement as winemaker, consultant, and guide to dozens of wineries has helped elevate the Washington wine industry from a regional industry to an international powerhouse.
Brian’s early curiosity about microbes led him to study microbiology at Oregon State University where he discovered his appreciation for the wines of Oregon. After two years at the University of California-Davis School of Enology, Brian honed his winemaking skill with stints at esteemed California wineries Mount Eden Vineyard and Chateau Montelena. But the Pacific Northwest beckoned, and Brian returned to join early Washington winemaker Paul Thomas Winery, where his skills and artistic touch marked him as a winemaker to watch. Since then his wines have garnered many awards, and this string of accomplishments led him to pursue a career as a consulting winemaker.
Brian was twice touted as “Winemaker of the Year” by Washington Magazine, and is the only three-time recipient of the Pacific Northwest Enological Society’s Grand Prize. Brian was the Honored Vintner at the 2007 Auction of Washington Wines, and received the prestigious Industry Service Award from the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.
Jerry Judkins-Smith is the principal at Sphere Foods as well as co-owner and president of Inland Desert, Inc. Sphere Foods has been Jerry’s passion for decades, importing and exporting juices and natural colorants. He grew it from the ground up and sales now span the US, Argentina, South Africa and Australia. Long term contracts and connections that have lasted the test of time with both buyers and suppliers has been his recipe for success. He was awarded “supplier of the year” from Ocean Spray for his innovative ideas.
While keeping Sphere Foods thriving, Jerry has come home to the Tri-Cities to focus his interest and energy back into the area where he grew up, leading the team at Inland Desert, Inc. It is what he knows best and under his guidance has grown to 6 million certified clean vines, vineyards and mother blocks that are growing the cleanest plant material in the world along with a certified organic cherry orchard that has become a success in itself. Jerry has expanded the facilities to allow year-round employment for their experienced crews and increased quality controls that support sustainable agriculture practices. He is committed to expanding his business and transforming the community into a more vibrant area to live, work and play.
The Board would like to thank Greg Lill (DeLille Cellars) for his nine years of service as a WWIF Board Director, and Bradley Walker (Walker & Associates) who served on the WWIF Board from 2013-2015.