Bobby Richards has a long history in the wine industry, most notably as owner of a boutique winery in Walla Walla, Washington. Richards’ winemaking career started in 2008 when he started Seven Hills Winery, where he is the winemaker, and has since been a driving force in the proliferation of the Walla Walla Valley wine industry.
When Seven Hills Winery was founded back in 2006, founders Steve and Janet Soars envisioned a family-owned winery that would grow into a full production facility. Seven Hills Winery has always been a small operation, mostly focused on producing the Soars’ personal wine selections of Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Merlot, and Chambourcin. However, the couple felt that they could bring a lot more to the table if they were to start a vineyard with their family’s extensive winemaking experience. In May of 2014, Steve and Janet Soars began the process of purchasing a parcel of land in the HorseView Founder Casey McClellan announces his retirement, the wine philosophy stays true to its roots with a new cellar manager. Walla Walla, WA: 1. June 2021– Seven Hills Winery announces the appointment of Bobby Richards as Chief Winemaker, who brings more than 12 years of winemaking experience to continue the McClellan family’s legacy in the Pacific Northwest. Co-founder Casey McClellan, who founded Walla Walla Valley’s iconic Seven Hills Winery, is retiring to an advisory role. After working at Casey for several years, Bobby is ready to move forward with the appellation-focused winemaking that Seven Hills Winery is known for. It produces mainly elegant wines of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the Walla Walla Valley. Bobby grew up in Albany, Oregon, surrounded by the vineyards of the Willamette Valley, and came to winemaking through his passion for brewing beer. After graduating from Oregon State University in 2009, Bobby traveled to Benton Lane Harvest in the Willamette Valley to learn the intricacies of field work from pinot noir specialists. Interested in the variety of grape varieties he worked with, he then moved to Washington State and became a harvest intern at Tranche Cellars, where he worked with Bordeaux, Rhone and Italian grape varieties, as well as Chardonnay. Bobby joined Seven Hills Winery in 2013 as an intern and spent the next seven years working alongside Casey, learning every role in the winery and vineyard. While working at Seven Hills, Bobby earned his wine license from UC Davis in enology and viticulture. 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 create wines characteristic of the Walla Walla region, McClellan said. When my wife Vicky and I started the winery in 1988, our dream was to produce Walla Walla Valley wines that could shine on the world stage, and we worked every day to achieve that goal. I’m sure Bobby’s passion and dedication will sustain the winery’s mission as Seven Hills passes to the next generation. For more than three decades, Seven Hills has built a renowned wine program known for its award-winning portfolio of benchmark Washington State wines that accurately reflect its distinctive terroir. Going forward, Bobby will continue to be guided by the same wine philosophy and strive to produce wines that reflect Seven Hills’ unwavering commitment to the Walla Walla Valley region and the land. My goal at Seven Hills is to pursue the same dream the McClellan family had forty years ago: to become famous for the style and quality of Bordeaux wines that put Walla Walla on the map, Richards said. Casey and Vicki have been the pioneers of this incredible winery from the beginning, and I am honored to build on this legacy with my skills, dedication, and passion. Bobby is officially released on the 1st. June will take over the winery while Casey concentrates on her consulting work, and her first official vintage as head winemaker should already be exceptional. For more information about Seven Hills Winery, visit www.sevenhillswinery.com. About Seven Hills Winery Seven Hills Winery, founded in 1988 by Casey and Vicki McClellan, is the fifth winery in the Walla Walla Valley appellation. During the first harvest, Seven Hills Vineyard’s signature grape varieties, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, were brought to market for the first time. Both wines were a simple but compelling testament to the McClellans’ vision of producing balanced, graceful wines that authentically reflect the character of specific vineyard sites. With unwavering focus and dedication, Seven Hills Winery has quietly created a family of wines that powerfully express the rich potential and abundant creativity of Pacific Northwest winemaking and production. For more information, see www.sevenhillswinery.com. About Crimson Wine Group Based in Napa Valley, Crimson Wine Group produces reference wines from exceptional vineyards in the best wine regions of the United States. The company owns and operates approximately 1.000 acres of vineyards in six different regions, as well as a diverse collection of exceptional house and branded wines, including Pine Ridge Vineyards (Napa, CA), Seghesio Family Vineyards (Healdsburg, CA), Archery Summit (Dayton, Oregon) Chamisal Vineyards (San Luis Obispo, CA), Doubleanyon (West Richland, WA)), Archery Summit (Dayton, Oregon), Chamisal Vineyards (San Luis Obispo, CA), Double Canyon (West Richland, WA), Seven Hills Winery (Walla Walla, WA) and Malene Wines (San Luis Obispo, WA). For more information, see www.CrimsonWineGroup.com. View