EDWARDSVILLE - World-renowned winemaker Muiris Griffin traveled from Napa Valley, Calif., to Edwardsville Wednesday evening to showcase Round Pound wine. 

The wine tasting and showcase was held at Bin 51 Wine and Spirits, located at 200 S Buchanan St. in Edwardsville. Griffin and Round Pond Regional Director Scott Reed brought several wines to showcase including a sauvignon blanc, a dry rosé, a kith and kin and two vintages of cabernet sauvignon. All the wines are made on Round Pond's more than 400 acre estate. Griffin, who is the head winemaker on the estate, enthusiastically discussed each wine with the shop's patrons. 

"This is a really important market for us," Griffin said of Edwardsville and the greater River Bend area. "We do a lot of sales here. It's very popular and really fun." 

Griffin studied wine-making in France, even pursuing an advanced education in Bordeaux. He earned a degree in Viticulture-Enology while interning at Chateau Pape Clement in Bordeaux. In 2009, Griffin moved to California to spearhead a maturity study at the Opus One winery. He then went to work as the assistant winemaker at Ridge Vineyards before coming to Round Pond, where he has been for more than two years. 

Reed described Griffin as the "Mick Jagger" of wine-making

"He is like Mick Jagger and the Stones from 1968 right now in the wine world," Reed said. "He's up-and-coming while being cool and down to earth. He's a very humble dude, and an amazing winemaker." 

Griffin was genuinely enthusiastic as he described the soils and pickings, which led to each bottle of wine served Wednesday evening. The sauvignon blanc was grown in rich organic soil, he said. He added the grapes were picked at three different times in order to regulate acidity in the finished product. He also described the gravelly soil in which the cabernet sauvignon was grown in order to create a dense, dark juice. 

Round Pond wine has been grown on the Napa Valley estate for more than 30 years, but was only put into production for sale in 2002. Since its introduction, its popularity has grown nationwide. Reed said Bin 51 Wine and Spirits is one of the only locations Round Pond wine can be purchased in the River Bend area, adding it is not a wine found in most large or chain stores. He mentioned it was also one of the selections at Cleveland Heath restaurant in Edwardsville as well as Wang Gang

Besides the wine showcase, two raffles were held for the benefit of Edwardsville's "Better Place to Play" initiative to create more parks for area children. Reed, who has been a member of the community for more than 20 years, said the 50/50 raffle as well as a raffle for some rare Round Pond items, usually only available for purchase at the vineyard itself, went to that cause. 

More information on Round Pond wine can be found at www.roundpond.com.