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Browne Family Vineyards is rooted in family and branching out to spirits

Browne Family Vineyards revolves around their carefully curated wine and spirits. But above all, they are rooted in family — it’s even in their name.

“Browne Family Vineyards was inspired by my late grandfather, William Bitner Browne,” said proprietor Andrew Browne. “I remember him fondly sharing with me his time in Bordeaux, France, citing a fondness of the wine, the rich history and culture of the city. All of these elements ultimately inspired me to open Browne Family Vineyards in his honor, following his passing.”

“He embodied the American dream.”

“His 50-year law career, over 60 years of marriage to my grandmother Dottie, and more than 40 years of volunteer service in civic and charitable organizations made him a pillar of his community.”

Browne tells us his grandfather’s legacy inspired him to ask one simple question daily, “What would Bitner do? Make great wines, practice empathy, strive for excellence and leave the world a better place – something that we are aiming to do with our wines and in our tasting rooms each and every day.”

So that’s exactly what Andrew Browne and his team are doing.

There’s no doubt that William Bitner Browne would be proud of the family business today.

Today, there are four tasting rooms to visit: Downtown Walla Walla, Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, Tacoma’s Proctor District, and the newest edition on Old Main Street in Bellevue.

“Bellevue is a thank you to our Eastside community that has long supported us. Since opening, we’ve seen an outpouring of support from new and old faces and have enjoyed building relationships with our neighboring businesses,” said Browne.

The tasting room experience offers exclusive wines, including single varietals and small lot offerings.

There’s also a Browne Family Spirits distillery in Spokane, Browne’s hometown. At the Spokane and Bellevue locations, guests can taste the newest spirits collection, whether by the pour or in a craft cocktail.

“While each of our tasting rooms tells the story of my grandfather, our Bellevue space has a focus on our shared love of the outdoors. The scenic mural behind the bar by artist Melanie Nead beautifully showcases the spawning migration of salmon. Fishing was a hobby we also shared together and there is a small ode to this on the mural of a fishing boat on The Sound in front of my current home of Fox Island.”

If you’re wondering what to sample first, Bitner Estate Cabernet and Grenache Rose are huge hits.

“At our tasting rooms, our guests tend to love the exclusive Spymaster Series,” Browne said. “The five cabernets each hail from a specific block in the Estate Vineyard and are dedicated to a significant juncture in my grandfather’s life as a Spy Master and WWII hero.”

Browne proudly works with acclaimed winemaker John Freeman who started his career in Napa Valley, but made his move to Washington in 2002 after falling in love with the Columbia Valley and everything it has to offer a winemaker.

“Our leader from the start of Browne Family, John has helped build a strong, state-of-the-art facility to ensure long-term growth and high-quality results,” said Browne.

And if sipping spirits is more your style, they’ve got you covered, “Our spirits collection includes locally-sourced, limited-edition bourbon, rye and whiskey by Kentucky-native master distiller Aaron Kleinhelter. The First Look Collection is our core offering that features a reserve bourbon, rye whiskey, and single malt.”

The Monogram Collection includes a cask-strength rye and bourbon, along with a bourbon aged in French Oak Cabernet barrels from Browne Family Vineyards and the Lab Series is a collaboration between Browne and the master distiller.

To visit or purchase the goods (and they are good!), learn more at brownefamilyvineyards.com.

Cheers!

Kate Neidigh is a freelance lifestyle writer for Seattle Refined. See more of her work on Instagram here.

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