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  • First Friday

Barrister Winery

The journey of Barrister Winery began as two lawyers, Greg Lipsker and Michael White, were vacationing with their families in British Columbia. En route, they stopped in a local shop to buy wine and walked out with a five gallon Zinfandel wine making kit. When I asked how the wine turned out, Greg responded, “We thought it was wonderful.” “But it wasn’t,” Mike quickly joked.

Five gallons turned into 50 gallons, which then turned into crushing 1 ½ tons of grapes in Greg’s garage in 2000. “Friends and family were so supportive. When they heard we were making wine, they were eager to help.” Trial and error, conversation with local vintners, and a few courses atWalla WallaCollegeled Greg and Mike to the launch of Barrister Winery in 2001.

Validation came when they submitted their wine to an independent wine making competition and walked away with three gold and a silver medal. In fact, when you look at the history of Barrister, you’ll see award after award, including “Best of Show” at the prestigious Los Angeles Wines of the World competition, and consistent 90+ point scores in wine magazines. Barrister, whose signature style is   characterized by a lush, fruit forward flavor, silky mouth feel, soft tannins and a long rich finish, now draws world-wide attention and recently earned high praise as one of Washington’s top wineries in Paul Gregutt’s book, Washington Wines and Wineries; Second Edition.

Barrister is located in an historic 100 year old building in Spokane’s downtown core (Railroad Ave, west of Jefferson). The 25,000 square foot facility houses production, a large single stack barrel room, an expansive tasting room and a one-of-a-kind event facility. Barrister offers a unique space to host your wedding, reception, holiday party, corporate event, or special family dinner. And, Sunset Magazine named Barrister as “First Friday’s Best Stop” on the First Friday Art Walk inSpokane.

Barrister recently launched a “Wine and Dine” partnership with several of Spokane’s finest restaurants. Buy a bottle of Barrister wine and the participating restaurant will waive the corkage fee when dining that same day. Barrister also has a Wine Club which features limited edition wines, available only to members, and novel private events. Details on either program can be found on Barrister’s web-site.

When asked to compare winemaking with being a lawyer, “Making wine is much more fun than practicing law,” was Greg’s closing argument. The verdict: Barrister is one of Washington’s premier wine makers and Spokane is lucky to have them.

Location: 1213 W. Railroad Ave (off Jefferson)

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12-5pm (later on First Friday)

Phone: 509.465.3591

Website: www.barristerwinery.com

Twitter: @barristerwinery

Facebook: Facebook.com/BarristerWinery

This article was published in the November 2010 issue of Spokane Wine Magazine

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