' Desert Wind - Winemaking at Desert Wind

Winemaking

Desert Wind Winery is highly regarded for its structured, full-bodied red wines reflective of the unique terroir of Eastern Washington. Handcrafted using small lots of fruit, these wines blend classic winemaking techniques with extended barrel aging to create unique, food-friendly wines. We are perhaps best known for our flagship red blend, Ruah, which has earned an enthusiastic following and numerous accolades from respected wine publications.

Although red wines highlight the portfolio of the Desert Wind lineup, we also produce a wide-range of white wines and the occasional exotic varietal rosé wines.

 


Winemaking Team

 

Meet our Head Winemaker

Matías Kúsulas

Winemaker | Viticulturist                   

 

Winemaking at Desert Wind is directed by Matías Kúsulas. A Chilean with Greek roots, Matías was a Marine officer and Naval Engineer in Chile for more than seven years when he realized that it was time to change the course of his career. In 2005, he started studying Agricultural Engineering at the University of Chile, where he graduated with distinction and a major in Viticulture and Enology. He worked in Chile for a few years and in 2011 he decided to start traveling the world on a quest to learn new wine-making techniques. After several harvests in Oceania, Europe and Africa, he settled down in France, to do his post degrees at the Universities of Bordeaux and Montpellier. He also performed for two years as a Maître de Chai for one of the oldest and most reputable wineries in Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie.

After years of traveling and over 15 harvests, Matías moved to Washington state in 2016 serving as a Production Winemaker and Viticulturist in Walla Walla, WA before joining Desert Wind in 2021. In his spare time he likes to jump out of planes and is a Judo Black Belt. 


 

Meet our Assistant Winemaker & Cellar Master

 

Hannah Coulson

Assistant Winemaker | Cellar Master  

 

Hannah is our Assistant Winemaker and Cellar Master at Desert Wind Winery. Growing up in a family of restaurateurs, Hannah learned to revere wine even before she could drink it. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Colby College, she joined the wine industry while living abroad in Marlborough, New Zealand. Putting her degree to use, Hannah worked in a winery laboratory before studying at Lincoln University where she earned a Graduate Diploma in Viticulture & Oenology with Distinction. Having completed nine New Zealand harvests, Hannah returned to the US in 2018 to settle in Washington state. Hannah joined our team at Desert Wind in 2021.

Currently pursuing a Certificate in Web Design from the University of Washington, she uses her previous programming and graphic design training every chance she gets. When she’s not behind a computer, at the winery or enjoying great food and wine, you’ll find her adventuring by foot or kayak through the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.


 

Meet our Enologist 

Benjamin Hieb

Enologist                                        

 

Ben Hieb is our Enologist at Desert Wind. Ben graduated from Washington State University with a Biology degree and entered the wine industry as a Harvest Lab Intern in Walla Walla wine country before joining our team as Enologist at Desert Wind in 2015. When Ben is not in the winery labratory, is enjoys getting outdoors, camping and hiking and cowing down authentic barbeque: Pulled Pork or Brisket!

 


 

Winemaking Production Assistants

 

Emmanuel Farias

Production Assistant                         

 

 

Steven Grabinski

Production Assistant                         

 

 

Andrew Kowalski

Production Assistant                         

 

 

John Sandoval

Production Assistant