Winemaker Ashley Trout returns from yearlong hiatus

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After a hiatus from winemaking, Ashley Trout will return to the namesake winery she founded about a decade ago.

The owners of Flying Trout Wines, part of the TERO Estates, Waters Winery and 21 Grams family, announced Trout’s return Monday. She started back the same day. Trout will continue the brand’s focus on malbecs from various American Viticultural Areas in the Northern Hemisphere, plus Argentinian wines.

That was the same target when Trout started the brand not long after her graduation from Whitman College in 2004.

She worked as the proprietor and winemaker for the brand until 2010, when she sold the winery to TERO Estates and took on the role of creative director for Flying Trout and associate winemaker for TERO Estates, according to the announcement. After the birth of her second child a year ago, she changed her focus as a stay-at-home mother. But her love for the work hasn’t diminished.

“Time and time again, incrementally, the wines kept calling and I couldn’t shake it,” Trout said in the announcement.

After her departure, Doug Roskelley, winemaker at TERO Estates, took over all winemaker responsibilities for the brand, carrying on the founding focus. Roskelley will now be able to refocus some of his efforts on TERO’s critically acclaimed wines, their highly regarded estate vineyard, Windrow, and the development of a new winery facility in Walla Walla.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring Ashley back to our team. We have been growing rapidly over the past year and achieving great levels of critical and personal success, but her return will help our winemaking team ensure that all of our brands are properly focused and refined,” said Roskelley.

The transition comes along with the announcement that Trout’s husband, Brian Rudin, has accepted the position of winemaker for Duckhorn’s ambitious new Washington-based winery, Canvasback. Rudin has been working as winemaker for Cadaretta and Buried Cane, both part of the Middleton Family Wines collection.

Trout will be accessible at the Milton-Freewater winery as well as the downtown Walla Walla tasting room inside the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, vickihillhouse@wwub.com or on Twitter.

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