OUR FOCUS at Ken Brown Wines is on very small lots of Pinot Noir from the finest vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills. The wines are produced at our winery in Buellton at the gateway to the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, and most lots consist of 250 cases or less. Total annual production is only about 3,000 cases. I work with growers, many of whom I’ve known for years, to hand select vineyard blocks for our program. Some of the remarkable vineyards we work with include Sanford & Benedict, Radian, Rita's Crown and La Encantada. We also produce limited bottlings of Syrah and Chardonnay. My wife, Deborah, and I and our small staff enjoy the close relationships we have with our wines and our customers.
Most of my career has been spent pursuing the elusive traits that make great Pinot Noir. From my early days at Zaca Mesa Winery to my 20-year tenure at Byron Vineyard to our small family operation at Ken Brown Wines, I have continued to experiment with clones, rootstocks, soils and winemaking techniques, exploring the tremendous potential for Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County.
My first experience with Pinot Noir in what is now known as the Sta. Rita Hills came in 1976 when I met Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict and tasted one of the first Pinot Noirs from the Sanford and Benedict Vineyard. Launching the Ken Brown label in 2003 with my wife Deborah reinvigorated my excitement about the vineyards and the wines that brought me to Santa Barbara County in the first place 30 years ago. Experience tells me that great achievements still lie ahead, and it is in that spirit that I continue the quest for the next echelon of quality in Pinot Noir.
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