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Bob Betz

Consulting Winemaker

Betz has “… the knowledge of an academic fueled by the passion of an artist.”

Now in his 43rd vintage in the industry, Bob Betz started his wine career at Chateau Ste. Michelle in the mid-1970s.

During his 28-year tenure with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, he served as Managing Director of Col Solare, working closely with the Antinori family and their CEO and Chief Enologist, Renzo Cotarella. Over the past four decades, Bob has worked across industry disciplines: vineyards, winemaking, education, quality management, sales and communications. He has enjoyed helping develop the international reputation of the state’s wine industry, representing Washington wine to audiences across the globe.

Bob and his wife, Cathy, founded Betz Family Winery in 1997. Since its first vintage, the winery has used fruit from selected Columbia Valley vineyards, crafting a range of acclaimed red wines from Bordeaux and Rhone varieties. The path to starting their own winery began in the early 1970s when the two spent a year in the vineyards of Western Europe.

Bob graduated from the University of Washington’s honors program in zoology; his more relevant degree is that of Master of Wine, awarded by the Institute of Masters of Wine in London. He received two additional awards in successfully completing the program: the Villa Maria Award for the highest scores on the viticultural exam, and the Robert Mondavi Award for the highest overall score in all theory exams.

Over the years, Bob has been recognized as a fervent student of global winemaking, with one noted critic claiming Betz has “… the knowledge of an academic fueled by the passion of an artist.” Bob rejoined Col Solare as Consulting Winemaker in early 2017.