A Woman of Many Talents: Judith Shulman

Yale grad, law firm partner, successful real estate consultant, mother of two, and now winery owner, Judith very capably burns the candle at both ends.

Judith Shulman’s connection to the wine industry began in Chicago, when drinking in Greek Town was considered acceptable at any age. She was often invited to taste the wines served at meals and early on enjoyed how they complemented the food. Later, captivated by the Art Institute and the endless books about art at the Chicago Library, Judith thought she would become an artist and began college as an art major. She quickly discovered her talents lie in the management and administration of museums, theaters, and dance companies, rather than the creation of art itself. After obtaining her law degree from Yale, Judith’s taste for adventure led her to accept a job in the distant city of Seattle as one of only a few woman business and tax attorneys.

Tantalized by business, Judith later left law to become a “landman” working with energy clients and starting her own business that ultimately become one of the largest and most respected in the industry nationwide. Upon being awarded “Puget Sound Woman Business Owner of the Year” in 2002, she remarked on the challenges women and mothers face when seeking professional success, “There is no such thing as balance,” she said, “when everyone wants all of you. Burn the candle at both ends and enjoy every minute.”

Judith and her husband, both Board members of the Seattle Shakespeare company, discovered Washington wines and Walla Walla. Their interests in theater and wine led to their relocation to Walla Walla where Judith kindled a friendship with Mary Derby. When she sold her Seattle business, Judith began working with Mary on the winery business and they became partners in 2012. Judith likes to say that no business is as difficult as the wine business (!).

Living on 40 acres, surrounded by family and friends, and Gracie, the DAMA winery dog, Judith continues to burn the candle at both ends and enjoys every minute.