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Eastern Washington Residents With French Roots React To Paris Tragedy

Anna King
Northwest News Network
Gilles Nicault has lived in the U.S. since 1994. But the Eastern Washington winemaker was worried about his family and in-laws over the weekend after the attack in his native France.

A handful of fairly-famous Eastern Washington winemakers and cult foodies have strong roots in France. One of them, Walla Walla winemaker Gilles Nicault, has felt really far away from his family in the wake of the ISIS attack on Paris.

“I’m not on Facebook,” he said. “But I called them.”

He waited -- because it was really late in France when he heard the news.

“I have my uncle over there and some nephews, and all my in-laws over there as well,” Nicault said. “And we’re all fine you know.”

Nicault came to Eastern Washington in 1994 as a young winemaker. His wife is also a French-born winemaker in the Walla Walla area. Over the weekend he said they got a lot of support from their local friends.

“A lot of friends sent email and text and called me and whatnot,” Nicault said. “We are allies. We are really friends between Europe and U.S.A. We are really close.”

Nicault said it’s hard to be far away. But he loves being a winemaker in Washington state. So he’ll be following the news in France from afar.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.