Barnard Griffin Winery

Woodinville, WA

Over the holidays we had a group visit Barnard Griffin in the schoolhouse district. We had previously visited the tasting room in Richland, but this was our first visit to the Woodinville location. Randy was pouring for us that day and he was terrific. He gave us lots of information about the wines and the winery without overwhelming us.

We learned that Barnard Griffin is one of the oldest family-owned wineries in Washington State. Rob and Deborah Griffin are the founders and Rob is also the head winemaker. Their daughter, Megan Hughes, is their second-generation winemaker.

Barnard Griffin sources their grapes from diverse areas: Red Heaven on Red Mountain; Lonesome Spring Ranch and Crawford in Yakima Valley; Kiona also on Red Mountain, Gunkel on the Columbia Gorge; Balcom + Moe in Columbia Valley (Sangiovese) and Sagemoor in the White Bluffs AVA. Lots of my favorites, so I had high expectations.

Here is what we tasted:

Gorge Sparkling NV – Everyone in our group liked this wonderful glass of bubbles. It was clean and crisp and had some citrus notes. $40/bottle.

2022 Roussanne –Light and delicate to the point of being a bit flabby. $27/bottle

2020 Cotes du Rob – This is a GSM on steroids – the addition of Cinsault, Durif (which I had never heard of. It is the product of a cross between Shiraz and Peloursin) and Counoise (another new on for me that hails from the Rhone Valley) really boosted the spiciness. Unbelievable legs on this wine. $42/bottle

2017 Reserve Merlot – This was quite a light Merlot. It was less oaky than some I have had recently (a good thing for me). In general, our group really liked this wine. $45/bottle

2017 Sagemoor Cabernet Sauvignon – This is a really good cab. I purchased a couple of bottles. It had some fruit and a bit of spice that will really be good with fats. $65/bottle

We really enjoyed our visit to Barnard Griffin and felt that Randy was a real asset to the experience. We are looking forward to visiting again and I would highly recommend both locations. There is a third tasting room in Vancouver that we haven’t visited yet, but would love to hear others opinions if you have been there.

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