J. Bookwalter, one of Washington’s oldest wineries, has named Cameron Parry director of winemaking and viticulture. Parry started at the company January 3rd.
“He brings a wealth of strategic planning, planting, and winemaking experience,” says John Bookwalter, company president. “Honestly, we haven’t had someone with his depth of experience before. It makes us a better company, positioned for the next decade.”
Parry graduated from New Mexico State University in 1998 with a dual degree in microbiology and Spanish. He subsequently received a master’s degree in enology from University of California, Davis in 2002.
After graduating, Parry spent a decade at Chateau Montelena in Calistoga, California, including six years as winemaker. He subsequently served as winemaker at Groth Vineyards & Winery in Oakville, California. Parry also worked as director of winegrowing for much of his time at Groth.
Most recently, Parry spent two and a half years as director of winemaking at Washington Vintners in Walla Walla, Washington. At the company, Parry oversaw winemaking for the company’s Corliss, Tranche, San Juan Vineyard, and Secret Squirrel brands. He also oversaw winemaking at Walla Walla Wine Services, a custom crush facility.
Parry will be part of Bookwalter’s senior management team. Chance Cruzen will continue at Bookwalter as winemaker and will now report to Parry.
At Bookwalter, Parry will work on the four tiers of the winery’s program: Notebook, Readers, luxury, and reserve wines. In terms of viticulture, Bookwalter does not own vineyards but contracts with a number of growers with whom Parry will interface.
“He’ll be responsible for making sure that each tier delivers on what I call the ‘brand promise,’ which is that quality-to-price relationship and making sure that our vineyards and our winemaking style are aligned,” Bookwalter says.
Bookwalter, which is based in Richland, Washington, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2023. The winery makes approximately 50,000 cases of wine annually, making it one of Washington’s larger producers.
“It feels like the brand is at a really interesting inflection point in its trajectory,” Parry says. “It’s exciting to be part of that. They’ve also got multiple tiers, which allows the opportunity to touch a lot of different segments of the public.”
In addition to Parry joining the leadership team, Bookwalter has been undergoing a number of other changes of late. In 2021, the winery completed construction of a 20,000-square foot building that includes a production space, a new tasting room, and indoor and outdoor event spaces. The winery also has an attached restaurant, Fiction.
“It’s another outlet for us to sell wines,” Bookwalter says. Bookwalter has tasting rooms in Richland and Woodinville.
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