Although Joe Gunselman is a physician by day, his passion is winemaking.  He views winemaking as an art but draws on his science background and applies it to winemaking science.  Joe is a self taught winemaker but continues his education through classes at Walla Walla Institute for Enology & Viticulture and UC Davis.  Joe makes every effort to preserve the varietal flavors in his wine.  When young, the classical flavors beam through.  As the wine matures in the cellar, the flavors of cedar, tobacco, and leather will develop.

Joe Gunselman of Robert Karl Cellars Original Spokane Winery

Dr. Gunselman chose Washington because he believes the terrior, with the variable of irrigation, combines to give one of the best (if not THE BEST) places in the world to grow vitis vinifera.  He feels there are 4 major components to the terrior.  The first is the number of sunny days coupled with the length of the day, the second is the unique east-west ridges of the Columbia Valley which provides an excellent south facing slope.  Third is an ideal diurnal variation (night to day temperature variations) and the 4th is our unique soil composition.

Joe is assisted in the winery by his wife, Rebecca.

Dr. Gunselman is aware that classical teaching does not include wine as one of the basic food groups.  He does believe, however, (wholeheartedly) that wine is an essential part of every meal.  Drink to your health and join our Health Club. 


Rebecca Gunselman of Robert Karl Cellars Original Spokane Winery

While Joe leads the winemaking, Rebecca Gunselman leads the winery operations greeting guests with a smiling face and warm welcome. Her presence gives the winery heart and has lead to many loyalists and a pleathora of positive reviews about Robert Karl Cellars.

Rebecca knows that best wines envoke not only smooth, complex flavors, but also positive memories of a gratifying experience. The best wines come with a lot of hard work, a commitment to quality and a little bit of soul from those who create it.

 Rebecca has put her heart and soul into creating a welcoming, comfortable space to  experience quality Spokane wines (from one of the original Spokane wineries!) and learn about them, too. Robert Karl Cellar’s longstanding presence in the Spokane Winery community is a testament to the quality standards of the wine and the quality of the team who brings it to you.

Early Harvest days for Robert Karl Cellars Spokane Orignal Winery
Joey shoveling wine grapes Robert Karl

Join Our Health Club

Ok, it's a Wine Club.
The club is currently full however we can add your name to the wait list.

Award Winning Spokane Wines

An Award Winning Original
Spokane Winery

We haven’t kept a full tally of all of our Robert Karl Cellars awards, but we have been honored by every award recieved. Here is a quick overview of some award highlights.

Robert Karl 2001 Claret: The inaugural vintage Robert Karl Claret won Best Red and Best of Show at the Central Washington State Fair in Yakima. 

Robert Karl Cellars Wines: In 2005, Wine & Spirits magazine names Robert Karl Cellars as the red discovery winery.

Robert Karl Cellars Winery: In 2006, Wine & Spirits magazine includes Robert Karl Cellars in Top 100 Artisan Wineries.

Robert Karl 2005 Syrah:  Wine Enthusiast names this Syrah #49 in Top 100.  Seattle Times Pacific NW magazine includes it in Top 50. 

Robert Karl 2013 Phinny Cabernet Sauvignon: Seattle Times Pacific NW magazine includes the Robert Karl 2013 Phinny Cabernet Sauvignon in Top 50!

Robert Karl 2015 Malbec: In 2017, our Malbec receives Double Platinum from WinePress NW Platinum Tasting and Gold Medal from Seattle Wine Awards.

2015 Robert Karl Cabernet Sauvignon: Seattle Times Pacific NW magazine includes Robert Karl 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon in Top 5.

Original Spokane Winery Robert Karl Awards
Award winning Robert Karl Cellars Wines
Joe and Rebecca Gunselman of Robert Karl Cellars Spokane Original Winery