Founder & Chief Executive
Founder & Winemaker
A few years back, Mike Martin and one of his best pals, Gordon, were driving from Seattle to Boise. They saw that a new golf course, appropriately named “Wine Valley”, had opened in a little town called Walla Walla. Loving both golf and wine, neither could resist. By the end of the day Mike had dropped his first ever hole-in-one and he and Gordon were singing karaoke at a bar with a bunch of locals. Years later, Mike decided this was the kind of place he wanted to be when he started a new chapter in life -- a close-knit community, full of curious people both celebrating the rich heritage of their community and looking to push its boundaries.
And Mike didn’t just want to “be” in Walla Walla, he wanted to “do” something in Walla Walla. Something that would be a benefit not just to himself and his curiosity, but also to the community itself. A simple notion until one day, when he had lunch with a local winemaker named Ali Mayfield…
Those possessed by true passion know it alternates between heady highs and downright torture. And Ali Mayfield is one passionate winemaker. This mom of three followed her dream from Indiana, through the halls of education, and into the cellars of many illustrious wineries. After honing her craft, Ali found herself walled in by what she loved most -- making wine, but not the caliber of wine she knew she had in her. In true starving artist style, Ali threw her hands to the sky, said “screw it”, and just started making wine of her own, on her own terms. There was no plan, no pie in the sky -- just a tight network of passionately complicit friends and colleagues. Suddenly Ali found herself with 30 barrels of extremely fine wine, a humble business idea, and lunch with a corporate attorney named Mike Martin...
And, as they say, the rest is history.