Barber Lee Spirits — from winemaking to distilling
Husband-and-wife team Michael and Loraine Barber, owners of Barber Cellars winery, expanded their repertoire to work with partner and distiller Aaron Lee on the art of distilling, resulting in the new Barber Lee Spirits in Petaluma, in southern Sonoma County.
The Barbers founded Barber Cellars in 2007, focusing on single vineyard, organically grown, Sonoma County grapes, with low intervention winemaking. The Barbers also have a deep love for great spirits, and after much research and several test batches they developed their own recipe for one of the only single malt ryes nationwide. Their first whiskey was released in 2016 and sold out in a matter of weeks.
San Francisco native Aaron Lee knew the Barbers from their wine, and he tasted their whiskey during the brief time it was available. Lee joined the team as a partner, and in 2017 Barber Lee Spirits was born. The new distillery and tasting room is located next door to the Barber Cellars wine tasting room in historic downtown Petaluma — the first distillery in town.
Barber Lee Spirits uses the best heirloom corn, malted grain, and organic herbs to make traditional, handcrafted spirits. Distillery visitors can sample their spirits and choose from their list of cocktails. The distillery is open noon-7 p.m., Friday to Sunday.