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Our Story

Finding a Better Way

Part sustainable wine company, part philanthropic project. We obsess over providing the best wine in the most sustainable way. We obsess about doing things better - our planet doesn’t need more wine bottles. We’re constantly looking for new ways to make a positive impact for our planet while poking a little fun at tradition.

 

The Story

The pull to a simpler agrarian lifestyle brought Chris Dukelow and Toby Turlay to fundamentally change their lives and move Ducleaux Cellars, and their life, from the Seattle area to the beautiful and renowned wine country of the Walla Walla Valley in the northeast corner of Oregon. 

It’s an irreverent thing, to move through this world of wine with a smirk on your face, poking a little fun at wine traditions, their words and their descriptors; to disrupt their way of thinking, and by making wine more approachable while making a difference in this world.

Chris left a small town in eastern Washington for the “big city”, where he studied business at the University of Washington. He spent his career working with start-up founders and venture backed companies that wanted to disrupt industries, change the world. Creating and driving companies that break barriers, approaching things differently, and making a positive impact on the world has been Chris’ passion throughout his career.

He got hooked on winemaking first. Then she did. They went on wine-tasting trips around the region. Chris enrolled in wine-making classes at the Northwest Wine Academy and together, with friends, made hobby wine out of a garage. In the early 2000s, when visiting a small family owned winery in the Yakima Valley wine region, he discovered good wine in a box.  Who knew you could actually put nice wine in something other than a wine bottle?!  The concept had been percolating in the back of his mind for a number of years. 

When they moved to the farm, Toby enrolled in the renowned Walla Walla Institute of Enology and Viticulture to learn the wine-making craft.

At first, both made the Ducleaux brand’s wine. Two strong and independent personalities in a craft where you have hundreds of choices to make, none of which are wrong, logically lead to conflict. Their styles clashed. It was time to make a change for a healthier marriage, and for Chris, to be irreverent.  

Toby now leads and makes the wine for Ducleaux Cellars, a small estate winery making Rhone inspired wines. Chris leads and makes the wine for Irreverent Wine.

From … a pouch?!!

Why a pouch? 

It doesn’t impact the quality of the wine. It reduces the carbon footprint, the amount of empty bottles going into our landfills. It’s a more flexible way to drink wine. It supports a great cause, EcoTrust. For every pouch we sell, $2 is donated to their great organization. It saves you money. Each pouch lasts about four weeks after being open, and it really is great wine.  Wine that’s equivalent to the $25-$30 bottle of wine that you don’t want to open because you only want one or two glasses. 

And it's cool.

And wine brings people together. 

From the deck of our old Craftsman bungalow, we have an unobstructed view of the Blue Mountains. We like to sit there together over our glasses of wine and see the vineyard we planted a few years back. We can watch our golden lab, three tuxedo cats, six hens and our rooster all roaming free. 

Our dreams taking root.  

So from our vineyard to your glass. Hold your glasses high. Make an irreverent toast with us and …  

 

Cheers!