When our parents found this place its notable features were its far-flung location, a long-neglected walnut orchard, two dilapidated structures — an 1859 stone and redwood barn and an 1885 Queen Anne Victorian — and vertiginous topography dense with chaparral.
By the time we took over the farming operation from Mom and Dad in 1990, they had settled in as growers, content with cultivating fifty acres of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay grapes and selling them to established producers including T-Vine, Grgich Hills, and Green & Red. But we soon realized the quality of our fruit, now in high demand, called for something next level — namely making our own wine. In 1995 we began our due diligence, which included David crafting a trial vintage of Zinfandel.
In January 2000 we debuted our first three vintages of Brown Estate Zinfandel — 1996, 1997 & 1998 — at the annual ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) Grand Tasting in San Francisco, then and still the largest single varietal wine tasting in the world. That same month Wine Spectator featured a story about us headlined “A Family Affair: The Browns turned a weekend project into an outstanding Napa Valley Zinfandel.” The rest, as they say, is history in the making!