AWARD-WINNING BARNARD GRIFFIN WINERY CELEBRATES 30th ANNIVERSARY – WINEMAKER SETS STATE ENDURANCE RECORD!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Elise Barnard Griffin: 509-627-0266
4/26/13 – B
Richland, Wash. (April, 2013) — When Rob Griffin graduated from the UC Davis wine program in 1977, he ignored the advice of his instructors to stay in California. Instead, he headed to the Pacific Northwest with a dream of crafting fine artisan wine in Washington State.
Griffin now holds the honor of being Washington State’s most enduring winemaker; making wine on a continuous basis in Washington longer than any other winemaker in the state. His Barnard Griffin Winery of Richland, Wash., is celebrating its 30th year in operation.
Head winemaker Griffin, along with his wife and business partner Deborah Barnard, launched their Winery label and venture in 1983 and established the Richland facility, located in the Tri-Cities area in Eastern Washington, in 1996.
As part of the 30-year celebration, they’ve completed a total expansion and renovation of their winery property. “This is the next step for us as a business; to grow and to incorporate the second generation,” says Griffin. “We can’t wait to show it off to folks who haven’t had a chance to visit lately. It’s quite an expansive renovation inside and out. It’s a whole new winery.”
“Slow and steady growth was and is our Mantra. And it worked,” said partner and wife Deborah, upon reflection on the winery’s success. “With our winery’s 30th year anniversary, we are one of the top wineries in the state by any measure and this is out of a field of more than 700 Washington state wineries.”
As part of the new remodel/expansion, Deborah Barnard’s fused-glass studio, db gallery, was given a new home within the winery complex. Deborah teaches glass classes, constructs her own work, and hosts nationally acclaimed guest artists.
In its first year of the winery’s operation, 400 cases of Fumé Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling were produced. In its second year, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were added to the production list. Today Barnard Griffin is now one of the largest privately owned Washington wineries, producing 70,000 cases per year.
When asked what makes him the most proud regarding his wines over the last 30 years, Rob cited three achievements: “I suppose that number one for me is our focus on creating a master quality wine throughout our entire line. From Fumé to Cabernet, each wine is varietally accurate. This is difficult to achieve and requires constant vigilance. Secondly, we work extraordinarily hard to maintain Vintage-to-Vintage consistency, even though Mother Nature likes to throw us a curve ball from time to time.
Thirdly, I am proud of the extent of the recognition our wines have received. And of all the recognition, I am particularly pleased with having won Gold or Better at the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Competition for our Rosé of Sangiovese for seven years in a row. And, this wine competition is based on a double-blind evaluation by 50 – 60 judges, which is a formidable gauntlet for any varietal. Plus our Cabernets have won Gold or better in the Washington State Wine Competition for five years in a row. I feel that this underscores our approach to constancy and consistency.”
Barnard Griffin currently produces two labels. The Reserve Label wines are crafted in very limited quantities from the best vineyard lots in the region, using European, French, and American oak.
Barnard Griffin’s signature Tulip Label wine is one of Washington’s most easily recognized wines and is available in restaurants and stores across the country.
Rob looks back fondly on his career as a winemaker. From his first days in Sonoma Valley and as a student at the Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California, Davis, he always recognized the great potential of Washington Wine Country, which is on the same northern latitude as France’s winegrowing regions.
He began his career in Washington wine at Preston Wine Cellars, where he worked as winemaker for seven years and was awarded the first ever ‘Double Gold’ by the Enological Society of the Northwest. He later became head winemaker at Hogue Cellars, where he worked for eight years.
“I had a wealth of wonderful experiences. Of course, when I married Deborah in 1980 and we opened Barnard Griffin in 1983, I didn’t know we would be destined for 30 years of success. But what a wonderful milestone we are celebrating, not just for ourselves but also for the State of Washington, its wines, and our fans.”
Recent acclaim for Barnard Griffin wines:
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE’S 2013 WINE COMPETITION
(Largest American competition in the world):
Best in Class for ’11 Chardonnay and Gold for ’08 Reserve Cabernet
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE’S 2012 WINE COMPETITION:
Best of the Best Rosés for Rosé of Sangiovese
Rosé winning Gold or better for an unprecedented 7 years in a row!
WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE:
“Top 100 Best Buys of 2011″ for ‘09 Fumé Blanc,
94 points for Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
WINE SPECTATOR MAGAZINE:
“Top 100 Most Exciting Wines” for 2009 for Riesling
2011 WASHINGTON WINE COMPETITION:
Best Merlot and Double Gold; Best Red, Best Cabernet, and Gold for Cabernet Sauvignon
About Barnard Griffin
Barnard Griffin is a family-owned winery located in Richland, Wash.. Co-owners Rob Griffin and Deborah Barnard have been making wine and garnering international acclaim under the Barnard Griffin label since 1983, and Rob Griffin has been making wine in Washington State since 1977. Barnard Griffin is currently producing more than 70,000 cases of wine per year including Barbera, Cabernet-Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ciel du Cheval Merlot, Fumé, Grenache, Late Harvest Muscat Canelli, Malbec, Merlot, Orange Muscat, Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Rosé of Sangiovese, Semillon, Syrah, Syrah Port, Viognier, Zinfandel and a variety of blends.
Barnard Griffin has received heavy praise for many of its wines, and continues to demonstrate leadership in the Washington wine industry. Rob was named the 2010 Honorary Vintner for the prestigious Auction of Washington Wines, and has been making wine, on a continuous basis, longer than any other Washington state winemaker.
Barnard Griffin currently produces two labels, both available through retail stores, wine clubs and online wine venues. The limited production Reserve Label wines are crafted in very small quantities from the best vineyard lots in the region, using European, French and American oak. Barnard Griffin’s signature Tulip Label wine, one of Washington state’s most recognized wines, is available in restaurants and stores across the country as well as via Barnard Griffin’s online wine store and wine clubs.
Barnard Griffin selects its grapes from regions throughout Washington state’s Columbia Valley including Wahluke Slope, Horse Heaven Hills, Red Mountain, and other AVA’s. Barnard Griffin works with small family growers and favors long-term contracts with dedicated acreage for vineyard continuity and quality.
The winery and tasting room are located at 878 Tulip Lane in Richland, Wash. For more information, please visit www.BarnardGriffin.com or call (509) 627-0266.
© 2013, Barnard Griffin™ Winery, Richland, WA 99352
Barnard Griffin’s Newsroom includes Bio information, a winery timeline, videos, accolade and award information: www.BarnardGriffinNewsroom.com
Note: Images available upon request.
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