Yesterday, I received an email with the following announcement from the Woodward Canyon Winery in Lowden, west of Walla Walla, quoted as follows:

Woodward Canyon is excited to announce the promotion of Jordan Dunn-Small from Director of DTC Sales to General Manager, Jordan is the daughter of founders Rick Small and Darcey Fugman-Small. She has been working at Woodward Canyon for seven years and has served as Director of DTC Sales since 2018.

Jordan grew up working at the family business during summer breaks and event weekends. Prior to officially joining the Woodward Canyon team in 2013, Jordan spent time working for the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, Tertulia Cellars and Long Shadows Vintners.

Jordan's brother, Sager Small, is Vineyard Manager for Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard and is also actively involved in sales and marketing for the winery. Rick and Darcey will move out of day-to-day operations but will continue to work on small projects, attend special events, and help mentor the next generation. They will also continue to serve on the Board of Directors.

"Having grown up in the wine industry and seeing ask of my parents' hard work, it's an honor to be entrusted with the legacy of our family business," said Jordan. "My brother and I look forward to continuing inner parents" footsteps while also bringing a new perspective to the business."

Woodward Canyon and the Small family have worked on strategic and succession planning over the last 10 years to ensure a smooth transition in family leadership for the winery that was founded in 1981 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

"Darcey and I could not be more pleased that Jordan and Sager both chose to return to Walla Walla and the family business," said Rick. "We are excited to watch them build on what we started forty years ago and take it to a new level."

I have known Rick since the winery was started in 1981. I remember him pouring his Riesling and Chardonnay (which were made while the newly planted vineyard was maturing). And his Dedication Series Cabernet Sauvignons, with labels depicting Walla Walla Valley pioneers set the benchmark for Washington Cabernets. He was also instrumental in getting approval for the Walla Walla Valley American Viticultural Area in 1984. 

Rick and Darcey were avid travelers and visited wineries and chateaux in France. In a visit to the Loire Valley, they became enchanted with the Sauvignon Blancs of Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire, which became the model for the Woodward Canyon Sauvignon Blanc. 

Their contributions to the Washington wine industry are immeasurable. As the second oldest winery in the Walla Walla Valley, Woodward Canyon has a great legacy which will be continued by the next generation.