Now in his 47th vintage in the industry, Bob Betz started his winecareer at Chateau Ste.Michelle in the mid 1970s. During his 28 years there he worked across industry disciplines: vineyards, winemaking, education, quality management, sales and communications, and helped develop the international reputation of Washington’s wine industry, Bob and his wife Cathy founded Betz Family Winery in 1997, focused on selected Columbia Valley vineyards to craft a range of red wines from Rhone and Bordeaux varieties.
The path to starting their own winery began in the early 1970s when they spent a year in the vineyards of Western Europe. He graduated from the University of Washington’s honors program in zoology; his more wine–relevant degree is that of Master of Wine, awarded by the Institute of Masters of Wine in London. He received additional recognition from the IMW: the Villa Maria Award for highest score on the viticultural exam, and the Robert Mondavi Award for the highest overall score in all theory exams.
A board member of the Auction of Washington Wine for several years, Bob also served as it’s Co–Chair for two years.Bob has been a fervent student of global winemaking, with TheWine Spectator claiming he has “… the knowledge of an academic fueled by the passion of an artist.” Today he continues as consulting winemaker for Betz Family Winery and other Washington wineries.
The Northwest Wine Benefit Foundation, DBA Auction of Washington Wines, is committed to supporting the growth and awareness of the Washington state wine industry through a series of celebrated events benefiting our community. We have raised over $55 million since our inception in 1988.