KENNEWICK — Dick Shaw, a pioneer of Washington’s wine industry, died Oct. 27, at his home in Richland. He was 84.
Shaw and his wife, Wendy, entered the industry in 1981 at the urging of Walter Clore, the father of the Washington wine industry.
Shaw Vineyards began with 100 acres at Wahluke Slope near Mattawa and grew to more than 3,000 acres at Red Mountain, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Goose Gap, White Bluffs and Candy Mountain, representing some 5% of all vines in Washington.
The family-owned company is particularly active in the Red Mountain AVA, where it grows grapes on 625 acres across nine vineyards.
Their customers include some of the biggest names in the Northwest wine industry, according to a 2018 profile by Northwest Wine published in the Tri-City Herald. The feature was written when the Shaws were inducted into the Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame.
The feature described Wendy and Dick Shaw as “two of the most influential people in the Washington wine industry who too few consumers know about.”
The induction ceremony was conducted in Prosser, at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center, named for his old associate.
The “Legend” honor was just one of many accolades for Shaw, lauded as much for his tenacious commitment to growing quality grapes as his business acumen.
Shaw was honorary grower for the 2015 Auction of Washington Wines, the influential industry event that serves as a fundraiser for wine education. In 2017, Washington Winegrowers Association named Shaw its Grower of the Year.
Giants such as Col Solare, DeLille Cellars, Duckhorn’s Canvasback project, Januik, Tamarak Cellars and The Walls in Walla Walla used their grapes, as did smaller boutiques and wineries they helped establish, such as J&S Crushing near Mattawa.
Northwest Wine Report reports Richard “Dick” Henry Shaw was born June 10, 1939, in Tacoma, where he grew up and was a founder of the Bank of Tacoma before turning his attention to wine.