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.