SEATTLE (May 30, 2024)—The Washington wine industry has awarded its inaugural Allen Shoup Memorial Fellowship for emerging writers and communicators to Gwendolyn Elliott. Elliott is a writer and editor based in Walla Walla, Washington and was chosen by a committee composed of writers, industry leaders, and a representative of the Shoup family.

“I’m so excited for this opportunity to further immerse myself in Washington wine,” Elliott said. “Allen Shoup was foundational to the story of wine in this state, and I hope my efforts will help to amplify his impact.”

Applicants were evaluated based on writing samples, an essay, story pitches, and other factors. Applications were received from across the country and around the world.

“We were overwhelmed by the response to this fellowship, which garnered interest from so many talented, emerging writers and communicators,” said Dane Narbaitz, Shoup’s stepson and President of Long Shadows. “Gwendolyn’s writing samples, story ideas and overall enthusiasm stood out.”

Elliott launched her writing career as a freelance music blogger in the early aughts, eventually working her way to Music Editor at Seattle Weekly, and later, to Senior Editor at Seattle Magazine. Her interest in wine, first formed as a liberal arts college student in her native New York state, grew over the years through work in restaurants that supported her writing. She has written about wine for Wine Enthusiast, Duckhorn, and the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin as well as Seattle Weekly, Seattle magazine, and other publications. 

“We look forward to supporting Gwendolyn in her goals to explore Washington wine country, interview growers and winemakers, and then pitch interesting stories to reach national and international readers,” Narbaitz said. “Allen took pride in educating consumers about Washington wines, and it’s exciting to see those efforts continue.”

The Allen Shoup Memorial Fellowship was established in 2024 in memory of Allen Shoup, who played a pioneering role in developing the Washington wine industry as the longtime head of the state’s biggest winery, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. He later became the founder and owner of the acclaimed winery Long Shadows Vintners. Shoup passed away in 2022.

Funded entirely through donations, the Fellowship awards one writer or communicator each year with an immersive trip to Washington’s vineyards and wineries, wine samples, and a $3,000 stipend. The goal is to grow and to shape media awareness and the perception of Washington wine by identifying and elevating the wine writers and communicators of tomorrow.

The Fellowship is an industry-wide collaboration that brings together the Washington State Wine Commission, Auction of Washington Wines, Washington Winegrowers Association, Washington Wine Industry Foundation, individuals, wineries, and growers. An expert panel chose the recipient, with input from an industry advisory committee.

“This Fellowship is a terrific partnership between the entire Washington wine industry and an incredible group of highly respected writers,” said Kristina Kelley, Executive Director of the Washington State Wine Commission. “We’re excited to support our first recipient, and watch this Fellowship grow in the coming years.”

The 2024 selection panel was comprised of Karen MacNeil, Karen MacNeil & Co. (National wine writer seat); Sean Sullivan, Northwest Wine Report (PNW-based wine writer seat); Eric Degerman, Great Northwest Wine (Wine professional at large seat); Devyani Gupta, Valdemar Estates (WA Wine industry seat); and Dane Narbaitz, Long Shadows Vintners (Shoup family representative).

Applications for next year’s fellowship will open in January 2025 at

About the Washington State Wine Commission:
The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, the mission of the WSWC is to drive growth of Washington Wine through Marketing, Communications, and Viticulture & Enology Research. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSWC is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit

About the Auction of Washington Wines:
The Northwest Wine Benefit Foundation, DBA Auction of Washington Wines, is committed to supporting the growth and awareness of the Washington state wine industry through a series of celebrated events benefiting our community. We have raised over $63 million since our inception in 1988.To learn more, visit

About Washington Winegrowers Association
Founded in 1983, the Washington Winegrowers Association supports winegrape growers, vintners, and allied members by addressing industry needs and collaborating to enhance the Washington wine industry.  Washington Winegrowers Association provides state and federal advocacy and education on industry matters, serving as a unifying voice and stewarding relationships across the wine industry, with its members, growers, vintners, policymakers, educational institutions, and other industry partners. To learn more, visit

About Washington Wine Industry Foundation
The Washington Wine Industry Foundation is a dynamic network of wine industry professionals united by a common vision: to foster a thriving Washington wine industry. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Foundation facilitates, manages, and distributes funding to confront challenges and invest in solutions including scholarships, industry events, and sustainability such as pest control, clean plants, risk management, safety, and more. Through collaboration and partnerships, the Foundation honors the industry’s heritage while forging a path to a flourishing future for Washington wine. To learn more, visit

Heather Bradshaw, Communications Director, Washington State Wine Commission
(206) 495-5844 /

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