Shae Frichette of Frichette Winery
Photo credit: Jay Frichette
Was there a specific wine, moment or place that unlocked your passion?

Shae Frichette: Greg and I lived in California for a few years before coming home to Washington and had great access to California wines. We enjoyed wines from Tobin James. The wine that really made us think about wine more seriously was Seghesio’s Zinfandel. 

What did you study in school and what were you doing before you started in the wine industry?

SF: I studied Theatre and Speech Communications. Both great majors and made me very comfortable with speaking in front of groups and with others. My dad says I have the gift to gab, but I think these programs refined my speaking ability. After college, I did a brief stint as a theatre actress in Los Angeles and then moved on to training & facilitation. Before making my way to co-owning a winery and making wine, I lead the training team for a large company in California.

How has being in the wine industry changed you?

SF: Being in the wine industry has made me appreciate wine so much more. Almost every day, I’m learning a nugget or two about wine or viticulture. I’d say being in the wine industry has brought perspective to me on what the industry looks like and is, meaning several years ago, I couldn’t see myself in the industry and today, I’m seeing more diversity than I thought existed. 

What’s your favorite part of being in the wine industry?

SF: I’m a collaborator. My favorite is working with the grower. I love putting on boots and walking vineyards to talk about pick dates. And I enjoy when the wine grapes arrive at the crush pad. I also enjoy working with my husband Greg in the cellar. He is so good at logistics and gets all of the production equipment set up so that I can just show up and help make the wine.

I also love tasting through barrels and making decisions on what to blend, what to showcase as a single vineyard varietal. I also really enjoy the people in this industry. Especially the ones who deliberately make an effort to not only push themselves and their brands, but also push the industry to improve.

Looking back, was there something in your past that led you to wine?

SF: Wine!

To learn more about Frichette Winery or Shae’s second brand Sashay Wines, be sure to visit:

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Perfect Starter Pack to get to know Frichette Wines:

Sashay Wines:

Shae Frichette
Photo credit: Rich Breshears