Guardian Cellars – A Unique Winery Started by a Retired Police Officer

Not only do they produce big, inky, chewy and high satisfying red wines from Washington State, this winery also boasts a very unique wine story. Started by retired police officer, Jerry Riener, the name “Guardian” is to honor the role of police across the country that protect and serve their country.

Cop Winemaker

Cop Turned Winemaker – Jerry Riener at Guardian Cellars, WA. Photo Credit: Guardian Cellars

When I met Jerry at the MW tasting in Woodinville, he told the story of when he served as an undercover agent for 3 years, living in a penthouse over-looking Seattle and driving a sports car. Though the assignment wrecked havoc on his personal life, in the end the taskforce was able to bring down one of the largest drug cartels in the US.

After this feat, Jerry decided it was time to pursue another dream – to start a winery.  Today Guardian Cellars, located in Woodinville, Washington, produces around 10,000 cases of delicious wines.  Jerry also was able to finally settle down with family and enjoy life.  However, he admits that he stills stay in touch with his buddies on the force, and that police officers around the country are one of his larger customer bases. Part of this may be because of the unique names for his wines.  We tasted:

The Informant 2014 Guardian Cellars ($30) – a dark inky syrah oozing with blueberries, black liquorish and spice with massive tannins and a very long finish.

The Wanted 2014 Guardian Cellars ($39) – a velvety Bordeaux Blend with 40% cab, 31% cabernet franc, and 29% merlot. Very rich red plum, cassis, and spice with smooth tannins. Delicious.

Guarden Wines

Guardian Wines. Photo Credit: H. Young, Seattle Mag

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