Bart Fawbush of Bartholomew Winery
When Bart Fawbush went off to college at Gonzaga University, he took lots of biology and chemistry classes to prepare for a career in medicine. But the career he pursued after graduating was business, first as a very successful bill collector, and then as an owner of a mortgage business. A chance day trip spent wine tasting in Woodinville with a friend led to another career shift. Bart was amazed at the quality of the wines he tasted, and the fact that the winemakers had other day jobs instead of chateaux and generations of family winemaking experience behind them. He started tasting, volunteering at wineries, and asking lots of questions. By 2007 he was making his own wine, and in 2010 he opened a tasting room in the SODO neighborhood of South Seattle.
Making wine in SODO had its challenges, as Bart’s tasting room and winery were in the old Rainier Brewery building, where he had to do everything over a 6-inch drain. Things will be very different from now on, as Bartholomew Winery moved its winemaking operation in December 2017 to the Port of Kennewick’s new Columbia Gardens Urban Wine and Artisan Village. Bart now has a state-of-the-art winemaking facility with tasting rooms in Kennewick and SODO. The wines are amazing for both their quality and uniqueness. You will find varietals at Bartholomew that you don’t see at many other wineries, including Tannat and Primitivo. The Cabernet Franc is a hit as a glass pour at westside restaurants, and the Reciprocity Blend of Carménère and Cabernet Sauvignon is Bartholomew’s best-selling wine. Listen to the interview to hear about other unique varietals available at Bartholomew Winery as well as the serendipitous manner in which the varietals and blends end up in bottles.
Listen to the Interview: