Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Barnard Griffin winery

Barnard Griffin is a small, quality winery operated by a husband-and-wife team located in rural Richland, Washington.

Rob Griffin has been involved in the Washington wince scene since 1977. He and his wife Deborah Barnard have been making wines under their own label since 1983.

Winemaker Griffin has a master’s degree in viniculture and enology from the University of California at Davis. He came to southcentral Washington in 1977 to serve as the first winemaker for Preston Winery located a few miles north of Pasco. He met with quick success, with his 1977 Chardonnay winning Best of Show at the Seattle Enological Society’s Northwest Wine Festival.

Barnard Griffin Wines Started in 1983

He and his wife began making wines under their own label six years later, with their first bottlings consisting of a total of 400 cases of Chardonnay, Fumé Blanc and Riesling. Griffin went on to become winemaker and general manager at Hogue Cellars in Prosser, before the couple went full-time with their winery. They have been at their present facility at 878 Tulip Lane in Richland, Washington, since 1996.

Barnard Griffin has used colorful tulips on its label since 1983, and bottles lines of White Tulip and Red Tulip wines in addition to their white and red reserve lines. The winery’s production is more than 75,000 cases a year.

Winery Wins Many Awards

The number of awards the winery has won attests to the quality of their wines. Many of their awards come from California wine festivals, making the wins particularly sweet because California is better known for its wines than Washington. In early 2009 alone, Barnard Griffin wines have won at wine festivals in Riverside, Monterey and San Francisco. For the fourth consecutive year, Barnard Griffin won a gold or better for its Rose of Sangiovese at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Barnard Griffin was named the Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest in the spring of 2006.

Wine Grapes Come From Throughout Mid-Columbia

The grapes for Barnard Griffin wines came from throughout the Mid-Columbia region, from the Wahluke Slope to the north to the nearby Red Mountain vineyards.

The on-site tasting room is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The tasting room also houses a small art gallery, where glass works by Deborah Barnard are on display. There is a fee to taste wines which is refunded when purchases are made. The winery also has a small wine bar/eatery and offers live music on weekends.

How to Find Barnard Griffin Winery

Barnard Griffin is one of three wineries on Tulip Lane. It is the middle one, bounded on the north by Tagaris Winery and on the south by J. Bookwalter Wines.

Take the Queensgate Road exit off of Interstate I-182, which runs from Interstate I-82 in the west, past Richland and on to. From Queensgate turn onto Columbia Park Trail, then left onto Windmill Road, and finally right on Tulip Lane. Watch for the winery signs on Columbia Park Trail.

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