Founder Casey McClellan Announces His Retirement, Winemaking Philosophy to Remain True to Its Roots with Next Winery Leader
Walla Walla, Washington: June 1, 2021 – Seven Hills Winery announces the appointment of Bobby Richards as head winemaker, bringing over 12 years of winemaking experience to carry on the legacy of the McClellan family in the Pacific Northwest. Co-Founder Casey McClellan, a visionary behind Walla Walla Valley’s iconic Seven Hills Winery, will retire and shift into a consulting role. After years of learning alongside Casey, Bobby is well poised to continue the appellation-driven winemaking that Seven Hills Winery is known for, most notably producing elegant Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines in the Walla Walla Valley.
Bobby was raised in Albany, Oregon, surrounded by the vines of the Willamette Valley, and found his way to winemaking through his love of brewing. Following his graduation from Oregon State University in 2009, Bobby went on to work a harvest at Benton-Lane in Willamette Valley to learn the intricacies of the field through the Pinot Noir specialists. Interested in diversifying the varietals he was working with, he later relocated to Washington State and became the harvest intern at Tranche Cellars, where he worked with Bordeaux, Rhone and Italian varietals, as well as Chardonnay. In 2013, Bobby joined Seven Hills Winery as an intern and spent the next seven years working by Casey’s side to study every role within the cellar and vineyard. Bobby earned his Winemaking Certificate at UC Davis in Enology and Viticulture while working at Seven Hills, and when Casey decided to retire in 2021, it was clear that Bobby was the best choice to lead Seven Hills Winery as Head Winemaker.
“Over the years, I have watched Bobby perfect his craft and develop wines that are expressive of the Walla Walla region,” said McClellan. “When my wife Vicky and I founded the winery in 1988, it was our dream to produce wines from the Walla Walla Valley that could shine on the worldwide stage, and this is something we have worked towards every single day. I know with full confidence that Bobby, through his passion and dedication, will uphold the winery’s mission as Seven Hills moves into a new generation.”
For more than three decades, Seven Hills has established a storied wine program known for its award-winning portfolio of benchmark Washington State wines that authentically reflect their distinct terroir. Looking ahead, it’s these same winemaking philosophies that will guide Bobby’s winemaking, with a vision to produce wines that showcase Seven Hills’ unwavering commitment to the Walla Walla Valley appellation and the land.
“My goal at Seven Hills is to build upon the same dream the McClellan family had forty years ago – to be renown for the style and quality of Bordeaux varietal wines that put Walla Walla on the map,” said Richards. “Casey and Vicky have been the pioneers behind this incredible winery since its inception and I am honored to continue building upon this legacy through craftsmanship, dedication and passion.”
Bobby will officially assume the winemaker role on June 1st as Casey moves into a consulting role, and his first official vintage as Head Winemaker is already anticipated to be a notable one. To learn more about Seven Hills Winery, please visit www.sevenhillswinery.com
About Seven Hills Winery
Founded in 1988 by Casey and Vicky McClellan, Seven Hills Winery was the fifth winery in the Walla Walla Valley appellation. The first harvest yielded the inaugural release of the winery’s iconic Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from Seven Hills Vineyard. These two wines stood as a simple yet compelling statement of the McClellan’s’ vision to produce balanced and graceful wines that would authentically reflect the distinct character of specific vineyard sites. With unfaltering focus and commitment, Seven Hills Winery has quietly built a family of wines that powerfully express the abundant opportunity and rich creativity of growing and winemaking in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, please visit www.
About Crimson Wine Group
Based in the Napa Valley, Crimson Wine Group crafts benchmark wines from exceptional vineyards in premier wine-growing regions throughout the United States. The company owns and manages approximately 1,000 acres of vineyard land across six distinct regions, along with a diverse collection of exceptional domestic estates and wine brands, including Pine Ridge Vineyards (Napa, Calif.), Seghesio Family Vineyards (Healdsburg, Calif.), Archery Summit (Dayton, Ore.), Chamisal Vineyards (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Double Canyon (West Richland, Wash.), Seven Hills Winery (Walla Walla, Wash.) and Malene Wines (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) For more information, please visit www.CrimsonWineGroup.com.