Saintpaulia Vintners was built in 1993 on land adjacent to an 80,000 square foot commercial greenhouse known as Shinoda Floral, Inc. The winery's name was taken from the botanical name for African violets, Saintpaulia, which was the floral's specialty from 1970 to 2002.
Winemaker Paul Y. Shinoda, Jr. has held many roles in both private industry and in the public sector, yet his main passion has always been wine. A graduate from the University of California - Berkeley in 1959, Paul received his Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Pathology and worked for many years with his father at San Lorenzo Nursery in Santa Barbara, California. In August of 1970, Paul purchased a commercial greenhouse in Snohomish, WA, and began operation of Shinoda Floral, Inc. In addition to owning and operating the greenhouses, Paul was elected to serve three four-year terms on the Snohomish City Council and was an elected member of the Washington State House of Representatives from 1976 to 1978. He was also elected President of the Society of American Florists, which is the national trade association for growers, suppliers, wholesalers, and retail florists.
After touring vineyards and refining ideas from some of the finest and most well-respected wineries in Washington, Oregon, California, and the Burgundy and Champagne regions of France, Paul began commercially producing Cabernet Sauvignon in 1994. Saintpaulia Vintners' mission is to produce age-worthy Old World Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery's first vintage, a 1994 Cabernet (released Fall 1998), was produced from Blackwood Canyon Vineyard's grapes that were grown on Red Mountain near Benton City, WA. This site is considered by many to be among the best in the state for Cabernet Sauvignon.
To insure the continued success of its mission, Saintpaulia entered into a venture with Blackwood Canyon Vineyards and Cellars to plant 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes on land "to die for" on Red Mountain. Until those vines are producing, there is an interim agreement with Blackwood Canyon to purchase an exclusive allocation of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to produce approximately 500 cases of wine per year.