Family History

Generations Run Deep

The Dowsett Family entered into the wine business in the early 1980’s. Our winemaker, Chris Dowsett, had just turned 15-years-old when his family bought one of Oregon’s oldest vineyards on David Hill, in the Willamette Valley. The family knew little about tending to the vineyard, starting a winery, or restoring their 100-year-old home, but eventually, they expanded the vineyard from 12 to 26 acres and created an amazing winery with their partners.

After years of tending to the grapes and helping in the family winery, Chris enrolled in the horticulture program at Oregon State University. He also studied wine science at Roseworthy College in South Australia as part of a one-year exchange.

Post-graduation, Chris headed to Napa and Sonoma to work in both Viticulture and Enology. After five years in California, he decided it was time to bring that experience back home, to the Pacific Northwest.

In 1996, Chris arrived with his young family in Walla Walla, Washington to take over as the assistant winemaker at Canoe Ridge Winery. Five years later, he became the winemaker at Latitude 46N. Chris moved on to make wines at the Artifex custom crush facility in Walla Walla, and that is where Dowsett Family Winery began in 2007, with the production of 300 initial cases.

Chris currently makes Dowsett Family wines at Buty Winery in the Walla Walla Airport District, where he also serves as the winemaker for Buty.

Chris’s father is now retired from the wine business. Chris’s son is also in the wine industry.