Amy Alvarez-Wampfler's earliest memories are of her immigrant family working the land while she played in the shade of a cherry tree. Growing up in rural Eastern Washington, she developed an appreciation for agriculture at an early age, but it wasn't until she joined the tasting room staff at Columbia Crest Winery shortly after high school that a career path took hold. Combining her talent for growing things with her gift for sensory analysis, she pursued winemaking. Since then, her expertise has grown to include wine marketing, sales, finance, and business development.
Amy began her career in wine more than 20 years ago, enrolling in the viticulture and enology program at Walla Walla Community College while continuing to work in hospitality at Columbia Crest. During that time, she served two seasons as a viticultural intern for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates before joining the Columbia Crest winemaking team as a white-wine enologist. She held that position for four years, responsible for over 10,000 barrels of Chardonnay annually.
In 2010, Amy helped launch Sinclair Estate Vineyard, a Walla Walla start-up where she served as Sinclair's winemaker and general manager. The position allowed her to lead winemaking and delve deeper into the business of wine, overseeing hospitality, sales, and marketing and proving herself to be as skilled at management as she was in the cellar.
In 2016, Amy moved to Abeja Winery in Walla Walla, where she is currently employed as winemaker and general manager. Her duties at Abeja allow her to make wine from some of the finest vineyards in the state and also put her managerial skills to good use. A born problem-solver, Amy is responsible for developing and implementing the winery's strategic plan as she identifies new market opportunities, and formulates and executes strategies to achieve growth and profitability.
Amy holds an associate degree in applied arts and science in Enology and Viticulture from Walla Walla Community College and recently earned her WSET Level III certification. She has served on the Walla Walla Wine Alliance board and is currently on the Altera board. When invited to interview for the board, Amy jumped at the opportunity. Growing up in the Yakima Valley, she understood the importance of Altera's work.
In her free time, Amy can be found trying to lower her golf handicap, staying upright on skis, or spending time with family and friends.