ROB GRIFFIN OF BARNARD GRIFFIN WINERY WASHINGTON STATE WINE PIONEER
Rob Griffin is longest running winemaker in the state
RICHLAND, WA: (June, 2010) – Rob Griffin, co-owner and head winemaker at Barnard Griffin winery in Richland, Washington, celebrated 33 years of Washington winemaking this spring; furthering his tenure as a Washington wine pioneer. Beginning his Washington career at Preston Wine Cellars in 1977, Griffin is currently the longest practicing winemaker in Washington State.
Among the many, many accolades for Rob’s winemaking, his 2008 Tulip Riesling was voted by WINE SPECTATOR Magazine as one of the TOP 100 Most Exciting Wines of 2009. In June of 2010, Rob’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon won the triple triumph of Best Red, Best Cabernet Sauvignon and Best In Show in the Washington State Wine Competition. Barnard Griffin was voted “Winery of The Year” in 2006 by WINE PRESS NORTHWEST Magazine. In January of this year, Barnard Griffin’s 2009 Rosé of Sangiovese received a Gold medal in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE’s Wine Competition. This is the fifth year in a row (5X!!!) that Rob Griffin’s Rosé has won gold or better in this; the largest American wine competition in the world.
A graduate of the Viticulture and Enology program at University of California Davis, Rob Griffin moved to Washington State in 1977 after working several years in the Sonoma Valley. As a student, Griffin had recognized the great potential of Washington Wine Country, which is on the same northern latitude as France’s winegrowing regions. Griffin 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.
In 1980 Deborah Barnard moved to Washington and married Rob Griffin. Barnard Griffin winery was established in 1983. In its first year, 400 cases of Fume Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling were produced. In its second year, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were added to the production list. Rob and Deborah built a winemaking facility in Richland in 1996. Barnard Griffin has now become one of the largest privately owned Washington wineries.
“With over 650 wineries and over 32,000 acres of vineyards, the Washington wine industry has come very far in the last 30+ years,” said winemaker and co-owner, Rob Griffin. “I feel honored to be a part of what has become the second largest wine growing state in the country.”
About Barnard Griffin
Barnard Griffin is a family-owned winery in Richland, WA and the tenth largest in the state by volume. Co-owners Rob Griffin and Deborah Barnard have been garnering international acclaim under the Barnard Griffin label since 1983, and Rob Griffin has been making exceptional wines in Washington State since 1977. Barnard Griffin produces more than 70,000 cases per year including Barbera, Cabernet-Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ciel du Cheval Merlot, Fume Blanc, Late Harvest Muscat Canelli, Malbec, Merlot, Orange Muscat, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Rosé of Sangiovese, Semillon, Syrah, Syrah Port, Viognier, and Zinfandel.
Barnard Griffin produces two labels; both available through retail stores, wine clubs and online wine venues. 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, one of Washington State’s most recognized wines, is available across the country.
Barnard Griffin selects its grapes from throughout Washington’s Columbia Valley including Wahluke Slope, Horse Heaven Hills, Red Mountain, Columbia Gorge 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 is a strong supporter of wine tourism (Oenotourism) in the state, and is an important stop on any tour of Washington’s best wineries.
Barnard Griffin is the only winery in the United States that contains a glass arts studio producing artisan works of fused glass. The glass artist is Deborah Barnard, co-owner of the winery. Glass works are on display and available for sale in the tasting room. The winery, tasting room and glass arts studio are located at 878 Tulip Lane in Richland, WA. For more information, clink on the link: www.BarnardGriffin.com, email: info@BarnardGriffin.com or call: (509) 627-0266.
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