Robert Lorkowski, aka “Bob”, began his career in wine during his childhood when his parents would fill the backseat of the family car with fruit from the local farmer’s market and take it home to make wine. His grandfather was a moon shiner, and Bob became fascinated with fermentation. As an adult, he learned his craft of wine-making working for Cavatappi in Kirkland and Chinook in Prosser, as well as training at UC Davis.
While purchasing grapes for his own label – Sha Toe Du Bob – Lorkowski was asked about taking a permanent interest in Cascade Cliffs by the previous owner and winemaker, Ken Adcock. Established in 1986 with 5 acres, Bob purchased the property in 1997 and planted an additional 15 acres of vines. It has become a rare element of modern wineries to have the owner(s) directly involved with growing the grapes and making the wine. But here, Bob has been the head winemaker and overseer of the vineyard for nearly 20 years. His passion for Piedmont varietals, including Barbera, Dolcetto, and Nebbiolo, continue today and are recognized as some of the best examples of these varietals in the US.
Bob has also been compared to a wisp of fog or smoke, here one second and gone the next. This is eerily fitting as nebbiolo is thought to get its name from the Italian word for fog: nebbia. “Where’s Bob?” might be the most asked question at the winery, and remains the most difficult to answer…
Vineyard Manager/Assistant Winemaker/Jack of All Trades:
With over 20 years of grape growing experience, Edwardo has been a part of Cascade Cliffs since day one, helping plant the original vines in the vineyard. He delegates and organizes the labor in the vineyard including pruning, training, irrigation, spraying, composting and harvesting. If you can’t hear his voice when he’s out among the vines, listen carefully for the not-so-gentle crack of his whip.
Edwardo has also been helping make our award-winning wines from the beginning. His punch-down technique has been perfected by counter-balancing his weight with beer cans… As they say, it takes a LOT of beer to make wine.
Finally, Edwardo is also a mechanical whiz, keeping all the winery’s machinery running smooth and ready for operation. Tractors, forklifts, presses, pumps, and his 1964 Impala all get the steady attention of Edwardo.
Jared Germain has been actively involved in the Northwest wine industry for the past fifteen years. His passion for all things wine have led him to titles such as wine steward, sommelier, writer, blogger, educator, and maybe his personal favorite, “Cork Dork”.
Jared has certifications with The Court of Master Sommeliers as well as The Society of Wine Educators. He has visited some of the classic European wine regions on multiple occasions and spent the spring and summer of 2009 in Piedmont, Italy and the Rhine/Moselle River Valleys of Germany. This last visit convinced him to enter an avenue of wine he had not experienced before–working directly for a winery. Cascade Cliffs Vineyard and Winery, a boutique artisan winery focused on the Piedmont varietals, was a perfect fit.
Even though he was born and raised in New York, Jared likes to regularly sport cowboy boots which is, in truth, a sad attempt to deny the fact you can take the guido out of NY, but you can never take the NY out of the guido. And unlike Bob, you never have to wonder where Jared is- just listen for the constant yammering of his voice and you’ll find him. Jared now serves as the general manager of the winery and works to educate the public on this unique winery and its award-winning wines.