Allison Engman

Allison Engman, Chief Operations Officer @ Ambassador Wines of Washington
Number of barrels in the cellar: around 50

Allison Engman

How did you get into the wine business?

I used to work in the banking industry. I’m a former officer of Washington Mutual Bank, where I oversaw retail sales campaigns and the branch management training program for the Western Washington market. After leaving the bank in 2006, I worked in the Event Planning industry assisting with events such as the Washington Wines Festival and the Evening of Hope Gala. I joined Ambassador in 2011. Ambassador was founded by group of individuals who all had “day jobs” including my father who is the majority owners of the winery. There was a need for managing all facets of the business including sales, distribution, marketing, events and compliance. I took on the challenge!

Do you remember your first experience with wine?

The first time I tasted wine, I think was in the mid-1980s. My dad loves French wines... I can remember my parents drinking Lynch Bages almost every night. I’m sure that is the first fine wine I ever tasted.

Is there anything special you would like to tell us about your winery, your labels...?

We are very fortunate to own 30 acres of land in the world class growing region of Red Mountain, one of the best AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in Washington. We have planted many varietals, including Cabernet-Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Grenache, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. Sarah Goedhart and Tom Rinaldi are key components to our success. Tom’s mentorship of Sarah combined with his three decades of winemaking in the Napa Valley brings the experience we need to create the best wines possible from our small estate vineyard on Red Mountain.

How did you hear about H&A?

Our financial consultant recommended me H&A for barrel management. The whole set of services really made sense to me and made the process easy. We needed a lot of human and financial resources to run the start of our winery!

What do you appreciate about the H&A services program?

First of all, I appreciate the simple fact of gathering all invoices and sending them to H&A for payments... H&A deals with administrative details, not me. From a financial point of view, it allows me to spread the costs of the barrels. Also, H&A makes it easier to sell my used barrels. While I don’t have to think about barrel issues, I can focus on other matters in the winery: our tasting room, marketing issues...

How would you describe your relationship with H&A?

Alex Crown, from H&A, made it easy for us, he is always there to answer my questions and everything works out well...