A RICH HISTORY
Rob Griffin fell in love with the culture and practice of winemaking at an early age. He grew up near what has now become the most recognized wine region in the US, and worked frequently at his uncle’s vineyard in the heart of Napa Valley. Knowing his life’s passion at an early age, he enrolled at the University of California, Davis when he was just 17 years old. He then worked diligently to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Fermentation Science with the dream of becoming a winemaker.
After gaining a few years of experience in the Napa Valley, Rob decided to take a leap of faith and travel to Washington State. At that time, the region was unexplored and those who dared to grow wine grapes were considered pioneers in the wild-west of winemaking. That leap of faith developed into a prosperous career filled with awards and accolades over the last 40 years and still going strong.
Rob and his wife, Deborah Barnard, established Barnard Griffin Winery in 1983 with a small truckload of borrowed fruit and a rented cellar. It has now grown to become one of Washington’s most enduring and award-winning wineries. Rob and Deborah built the winery’s permanent home in Richland, Washington in 1996. The Barnard Griffin campus houses their production facility, tasting room, full service restaurant and fused glass art studio.
Maintaining true craftsmanship, Rob continues to be fully engaged in the winemaking and leadership of Barnard Griffin. The early vision of handcrafting the highest quality Washington wine continues to drive the company as Rob and Deborah move to incorporate a second generation.
Barnard Griffin has cultivated strong partnerships with vineyards and viticulturists throughout the Columbia Valley. Situated in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, the Columbia Valley accounts for 99% of viniferous acreage in Washington. The rain shadow along with the cataclysmic events of the Missoula Floods contribute to the diversity of soil in the Columbia Valley. Most sites are situated below floodwater, where soil is sandy with loess over basalt, creating well aerated soil ideal for viticulture. Columbia Valley also has warm, dry temperatures and ample sunlight. This allows for a high amount of control in grape development for both viticulturists and winemakers. Being one of the first winemakers in the state, Rob has learned how to select optimal vineyard sites. The vineyard site, along with careful attention to detail, delivers overall consistency and high quality fruit.
Nearly half of Barnard Griffin’s wine production comes from our estate vineyard, Caroway, while the remaining fruit is sourced from some of the best vineyards in Washington State.
Select a vineyard below to see it’s location on the map.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Semillon, Chardonnay
Cabernet Sauvignon, Albariño, Orange Muscat
Viognier, Roussanne, Barbera, Zinfandel
Merlot, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Grenache, Orange Muscat
Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Sauvignon Blanc
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Touriga, Tempranillo
Assistant Winemaker & Enologist
Tasting Room & Wine Club Manager
National Sales Director
Pacific Northwest Sales Manager