In 1980 our parents stumbled upon a ghost ranch in the hills east of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. Five years on they planted vineyards and for a decade we farmed and sold wine grapes. In 1995 we kids, encouraged by growing demand for our fruit, established our own label. In 2015 we celebrated 35 years in the Napa Valley and in fall 2016 we will bottle our 20th vintage of Brown Estate Zinfandel.

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Our Story

Brown Estate began as a farming enterprise. Among friends we refer to our Napa Valley property as "The Ranch," partly because that's what Mom and Dad were seeking in the late Seventies: a place where we kids, Angelenos by birth, could experience something akin to their own rural upbringings in Panama and Jamaica respectively.

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. Thirty-five years later we are happily off the beaten path, the abandoned walnut orchard replaced by vineyards, the two structures preserved and restored (and a Napa County Historical Society commendation conferred), the topography transformed into terroir.

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 fruit our land consistently gave us called for something next level — namely, that we make our own wine. In 1995 we began laying the groundwork with feverish research, and in 1996 David, working with then consulting winemaker Duane Dappen, crafted our first vintage of Napa Valley Zinfandel — the original Brown zin.

In January 2000 we made our first appearance at the annual ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) Grand Tasting in San Francisco, then and still the largest single varietal wine tasting in the world. We showed two vintages of our Napa zin — 1996 and 1997 — concurrent with a story in that month's Wine Spectator headlined “A Family Affair: The Browns turned a weekend project into an outstanding Napa Valley Zinfandel.” That heady debut was capped off by iconic zin producer Larry Turley, an early Brown Estate champion, queuing up at our table at ZAP to taste our juice. The rest is history in the making!

Our Team

  • Deneen Brown
    President
  • David Brown
    Winegrower
  • Coral Brown
    Director of Brand Management
  • Stefanie Kelly
    Special Ops
  • Mom & Dad
    The Source
  • April Enos
    Hospitality Manager
  • Arturo Garcia
    Cellar Foreman
  • Emilio Arroyo
    Vineyard Foreman
  • Eric Molinatti
    Sales Manager
  • Heather Martin
    Bottling Coordinator
  • Marivel Perez
    Estate Assistant
  • Rosario Garcia
    Estate Manager
  • Sean Baum
    Tasting Room Associate
  • Susan Terracciano
    Wine Club & Logistics Concierge
  • Taylor Yates
    Admin & Hospitality Support

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At Brown Estate we do two things extraordinarily well: wine and hospitality. Experience something utterly unique in the Napa Valley. Seeing is believing.

Request A Visit

Thank you for your interest in visiting Brown Estate. Our wine club members are given priority based on longevity. Non-members please provide as much detail as possible with your request.

Please note that we require an appointment to visit the winery and are not permitted to receive drop-in visitors. Weekend appointments fill up well in advance so if you are seeking a Saturday or Sunday tasting please be advised you may be waitlisted. 

As well, we are restricted from having minors on the property due to legal and liability issues and therefore cannot receive anyone under the age of 21 (infants included). 

To request a reservation, please submit your information below and we will contact you within two business days. For more information or for short-notice requests, please email be@brownestate.com.

We will never share your information with anyone for any purpose. 

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