Discovering a new wine you really like is wonderful. You try new ones all the time, but once and a while, you try something that sticks with your palate. A few years back, that happened to the team at Kerrie Kelly Design Lab with Brown Estate Zinfandel. And since then, we’ve bought it when we found it.
The Brown family story only enhances how we feel about the wines. In 1980, the Brown parents acquired land in the hills east of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. They were farmers first, and farmers they remain. In 1995 they decided on the strength of their fruit to make wine under their own label. The following year they produced their first vintage of Zinfandel, and along the way they added Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Petite Syrah, and the occasional dessert wine. In 2010 the family celebrated thirty years in the Napa Valley and Brown Estate’s fifteenth crush.
Making the pilgrimage to the winery proved to be a bit more complex as they are only open weekdays, but we decided to take a Friday “off” and visit for design and styling inspiration! Brown Estate visits are by appointment only, a bit off the beaten track, but the experience is well worth it, particularly if you like Zinfandel’s. When we arrived, we were greeted by Jona offering us a glass of Chardonnay—which sold us on their whites, too!
Jona then gave us the history of the vineyard and the Brown family as we lounged outside. We couldn’t help but comment on the incredible playlist, which we found out later was put together by the winery owners’ daughter, Deneen. The property is immaculate and its hand built charm doesn’t disappoint. The Brown’s, Marcela and Bassett, are living in the house on the property, so it isn’t included in the tour, but it’s history is wonderful. All views on the way to the beautiful wine tasting cave are impressive too—artfully created by artisans.
We then went into the wine cave to see their barrels aging their upcoming vintages. At the end of the cave was a perfectly set up tasting room with food pairings to go along with the wine we are about to taste. In each case, the pairing was amazing, taking our taste buds on a unique journey. We tasted four wines with the appropriate cheese, and then Jona slipped in a few more wines for good measure. Overall, it was a wonderful experience that made our love for Brown Estates grow even further!