Meet the Winemaker: Brian Smith

Category: Drink


Sparkling wine has always been a passion of mine. I love to drink Champagne, but oddly enough I can rarely afford Champagne and tend to choose other styles in in the sub $20 price range. This project has been a quest to see what's possible. Can you make a great, interesting style of sparkling wine in California for under $25? A few French houses do it. but that's about it. And unlike most wines categories, there really isn't a defined style of American sparkling wine.

The truth is smaller winemakers have never really had the resources to make a high quality California sparkling wine at a decent price. For the last three years we've been experimenting with this style a lot. I would say we have five different variations for each vintage year. Our goal is to define a new style of wine in Cali and this takes some work. We've tinkered with everything and finally feel like we're getting close with Finke's Widow.

Popping the cork on a bottle of sparkling wine sends a direct signal to the brain that something special is about to happen. It's time to celebrate. Life is good, look around you, be thankful. I tell all of my friends that they should always have a bottle of bubbles in the fridge. You never know when there might be something worth celebrating. It's an optimistic vision of a busy world; but I honestly hope that by making this awesome little wine, we can be there when that moment arises.