The former NFL quarterback and four-time Pro Bowl selection combined multiple passions when he retired in 2007 to start Doubleback in the Walla Walla Valley in Washington.
Along with his wife, Maura Bledsoe, the Bledsoe family has built a world-class red wine business on Powerline Road in the Walla Walla Valley near the northeast border of Oregon and it’s stronger than ever today.
Drew Bledsoe Doubleback Wine
Before he started making great wine varietals like the Doubleback cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, petit verdot, merlot, and healy rosé on his four estate vineyards — McQueen Vineyard, Bob Healy, Flying B, and Lefore — former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe grew up in the area, played for Walla Walla High School, and always thought of returning once his football days were over.
Then, it happened, and the name of his new winery back in 2007 was in reference to his return to his hometown.
To help make his dream entering the wine industry, Beldsoe hired Josh McDaniels from another Washington wine maker in Walla Walla (And no, this isn’t the same Josh McDaniels who is the offensive coordinator of the Patriots.) The winemaker Josh McDaniels is President & Director of Winemaking for Doubleback Winery.
There is also the Bledsoe Family Winery, a wine club that has three different levels of membership that have two shipment dates a year. They also have two tasting rooms — one in Walla Walla and the other in Bend, Oregon — which are both open for regular hours and private tastings.
Before making wine, Bledsoe was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft out Washington State and played 14 seasons with the Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys. He was the youngest quarterback in NFL history surpass 10,000 and 20,000 passing yards and is now in the New England Patriots Hall of Fame.
His No. 11 jersey is what he’s most known for, but there’s no doubt he’s done well in his second career.