Local Roots, California Vines (and Vibes)

We handcraft our wines in the heart of one of the world's best wine-growing regions, Napa Valley. Why California? First, it's groovy so we naturally dig it and, second, the wines from there are simply awesome!

Every winemaker will tell you it takes great grapes to make great wines. And these are some great grapes... from Sonoma's fog-laden Russian River Valley, bayside in Carneros, Or 2,000 feet above the valley at our Howell Mountain Vineyard...you get the picture. This is some great stuff guaranteed to make you happy. In fact, it says so right on the bottle.


MEET OUR WINEMAKER

Brian Brakesman

 
 

Brian was born and raised on Howell Mountain at Summit Lake Vineyards, a boutique family winery famous for its Zinfandel. Working alongside his parents and siblings, Brian developed an appreciation for the art and culture of winemaking, learning every step of the process from vine to bottle.

To formalize his education, Brian studied agricultural engineering at Cal Poly in San Luis Oo. Here, he learned of his exceptional aptitude for identifying the intricate details of wine composition and terrior, and further developed his intuitive grasp of the elements essential to winemaking.

 

After graduation, Brian spent a year traveling the world to broaden and develop his knowledge of wine, stopping for a season of wine and rugby in New Zealand. Wanderlust abated, and palate for worldly wines temporarily satiated, Brian returned home to Napa Valley. He immediately began working with acclaimed consulting winemaker John Gibson, formally of Stags Leap Wine Cellars and Vine Cliff Winery. Here, Brian helped John make wines for celebrated clients including Snowden Vineyards, Andrew Geoffrey, and Salexis.

 

After apprenticing with Gibson for 3 years, Brian became the Assistant Winemaker for Duckhorn Wine Company's Paraduxx Winery. Under famed winemaker Bill Nancarrow’s tutelage, Brian learned to balance the complexities of large-scale winemaking with the high standards and intricacies associated with top-notch, legacy brands.

4 years later, Brian was hungry to run the show and accepted the Winemaker position at Ledson Winery in Sonoma. Employing the skills and unique enological insights developed over his lifetime, Brian made over 82 wines per vintage from a catalog of diverse growing regions over his 4-year tenure at Ledson, and significantly elevated the quality of wines and brand.

Today Brian is the Winemaker at Peace Water Winery and 0wner at burgeoning Red Thread Wine Company. He lives with his wife and children just around the corner from his family winery on Howell Mountain. 

....Brian is also an aspiring gopher hunter.