Growing Wine With "Grape Whisperer" Dave Brown
This is the beauty – indeed the advantage – of being an estate winery: the fruits of our labor quite literally are our own, since we depend solely upon our own farming practices for the wine grapes whose juice we ultimately bottle.
The BE family of wines are purely vineyard-driven, deriving their distinguishing characteristics not from any equipment they pass through or any processing they undergo, but rather from the unique soil conditions and microclimate that prevail in the nine distinct vineyard blocks currently planted on our property. (Mother Nature has a hand in the matter as well, since she alone controls the weather.)
As such, Dave considers his role to be defined primarily on the farming side. The most nuanced part of his job is taking cues from the vineyards as they progress through each growing season.
Perhaps, then, more than a grape whisperer, he is a grape listener. By the time the fruit comes in at harvest and goes into tank following crush, Dave's winemaking work is largely done. The fermentation and barrel aging stages are an incubation period over which he keeps watch. He doesn't so much make wine; he grows it.
To discover what all of the whispering and listening is about, check out our 2008 Napa Valley zin (pictured above). Currently in its fifteenth year of production, this is our hallmark wine, and the one that has earned Dave Brown a reputation as one of the finest zinfandel producers in the Napa Valley.