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Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Appoints Guy Barnes as Columbia Crest Head Winemaker and Zach Richardson as 14 Hands Winemaker


May 9th – WOODINVILLE, Wash. – Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the leading wine company in the Pacific Northwest, announced promotions within its winemaking teams for 14 Hands and Columbia Crest wineries, the 2nd and 3rd largest wineries in Washington, respectively. Guy Barnes has been named Head Winemaker for Columbia Crest and Zach Richardson has been named Winemaker for 14 Hands. Together Barnes and Richardson have over 25 years of Washington winemaking experience at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and offer distinct winemaking styles and their own unique take on creating beautiful expressions of Washington wine for people to enjoy.

Guy Barnes, Head Winemaker for Columbia Crest, is a seasoned winemaker and has been producing Columbia Crest and sister brands H3, Liquid Light, and Intrinsic for 18 years. Over the past 12 years, he has specialized in white winemaking and produces award-winning wines that are delicious and overdeliver for the price.

“I’m extremely excited and honored for the opportunity to be the head winemaker for Columbia Crest, a legacy Washington winery,” exclaims Barnes. “I look forward to working with our incredible winemaking team as we move forward with exciting new wines while maintaining the strong heritage of high-quality Washington wines that Columbia Crest has been known for over the past 40 years.”

Zach Richardson, Winemaker for 14 Hands Winery, began his career at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 2015 as a seasonal harvest worker and went on to gain experience as a Lab Technician, Enologist, and Assistant Winemaker. Richardson strives for balance and consistency in his wines, and particularly enjoys crafting the rich, lush 14 Hands red blends. Richardson’s approach to winemaking is modern and innovative.

“For the past 9 years I have had the pleasure of crafting 14 Hands wine, while working alongside and learning from some amazing colleagues,” says Richardson. “I am excited to take the next step as winemaker for this established Washington brand and will continue to make 14 Hands a trusted go-to choice for wine drinkers by creating flavorful, dependable wines from vintage to vintage.”

About 14 Hands Winery

14 Hands Winery is inspired by the untamed spirit of the wild horses that once freely roamed eastern Washington, measuring a modest fourteen hands in height (a “hand” equivalent to the width of one’s palm). 14 Hands was initially launched in 2005 as a restaurant focused brand. Due to popular demand, it was introduced at retail in 2011. By 2012, 14 Hands had reached 1 million cases nationally. 14 Hands wines are crafted from vineyards in Washington’s renowned Horse Heaven Hills AVA. From smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, bold Red Blends to bright Chardonnay and crisp Sauvignon Blanc, 14 Hands wines are approachable, consistently enjoyable wines that deliver fruit-forward flavors and complexity vintage to vintage. For more information, visit www.14Hands.com.

About Columbia Crest

Aptly named after the highest peak on Mount Rainer, Columbia Crest represents the pinnacle of Washington state wine. Nestled alongside the Columbia River in eastern Washington, Columbia Crest was the first winery in the acclaimed Horse Heaven Hills AVA.  Since its founding in 1983, the winery has maintained its commitment to quality, Washington heritage and craftsmanship.  Columbia Crest sources from its own estate vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills and from family farmers.

In 2009, Wine Spectator magazine named the Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon the No. 1 Wine in the World on its Top 100 list, the first time a wine from Washington State had received the ranking. For more information, visit columbiacrest.com.