CEO/Director of Winemaking, Doubleback/Bledsoe Family Winery/Bledsoe-McDaniels Winery, Walla Walla, WA
Just 32 years old, McDaniels has already made wine longer than most in Washington State. Though, he did have an early start: At 12, an invitation to a neighbor’s winery release event left him consumed by winemaking and led him to plant grapevines in his backyard. At 15, he made his first wine. Three years later, McDaniels petitioned the local community college to take enology and viticulture classes. Before long, he started his own winery and began work at famed Figgins Family Wine Estates. Today, he serves as board president for the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and oversees high-profile Doubleback, founded by former NFL star Drew Bledsoe and his wife, Maura, as well as sister estates Bledsoe Family Winery and Bledsoe-McDaniels Winery.