Former NFL Quarterback Drew Bledsoe "Doubles Back" to His Hometown Roots to Launch New Wine Project in Walla Walla

Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:21pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe today announced the launch of
Doubleback, a new, estate-focused winery that will produce an
ultra-premium red wine from fruit sourced from the Walla Walla Valley.

    The focus for Doubleback will be on wine quality, Bledsoe said, and to
that end he has enlisted distinguished winemaker Chris Figgins of Leonetti
Cellar and Figgins Enological as the consulting winemaker for Doubleback.

    "Chris Figgins was at the top of my list when I started to think about the
perfect collaborator for this project," Bledsoe said. "Chris is recognized
for producing top quality wines at Leonetti Cellar as well as for his
meticulous attention to detail in the vineyard. He is exactly the right
fit for us."

    Bledsoe said he and Figgins are committed to using only the best
viticulture and winemaking practices to ensure that Doubleback will be one
of the best bottles of wine you will drink.

    "When Drew first approached me about consulting on his wine project, it
became obvious that he was committed to my key winemaking principles of
having complete control over a world-class vineyard site," Figgins said.
"We both agree that the relentless pursuit of quality at all levels has to
be paramount to any other goals."

    Doubleback crushed fruit in 2007 and will release its first wine, an
ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon, in 2010. The wine will be made with
fruit from various well-known vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley.
Bledsoe also announced his estate vineyard site, McQueen Vineyard, which
was planted in the spring of 2008 in the southern reaches of the Walla
Walla Valley.

    "The McQueen site is exceptional and located near some of the most famous
vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley, including Seven Hills," Bledsoe said.
"I'm confident that over time, we will be able to develop it into a
vineyard that can compare to any in the world."

    Bledsoe said he expects to build a winery at the vineyard site in the next
several years.

    While the first release of Doubleback now is in barrels and waiting
patiently for its release in 2010, the company has set up a Web site,, to enable customers to register for a mailing list and
to receive correspondence about the wine.

    Bledsoe, a native of Walla Walla, was an All-American quarterback at
nearby Washington State University and was the No. 1 selection in the
1993 NFL draft. He played for 14 years in the NFL with the New England
Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys before retiring in 2007.

    Bledsoe currently lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife Maura and his four
children. Since his retirement, he has been actively involved in many
business ventures as well as community projects and philanthropic efforts.


Media contacts:
Heidi Wells
(509) 301-3477

Veronica White
MWW Group for Doubleback
(206) 689-8505

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