Over the past quarter century, Kosta Browne has evolved from a small Sonoma County winery into a revered and exceptionally diverse portfolio of unparalleled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, stemming from the humble beginnings of two restauranteurs who pooled their tip money to make their first barrel of Pinot Noir. And since, through perseverance, passion and hard work, the brand has ascended as one of the New World’s preeminent producers of Pinot Noir.
Kosta Browne’s roots run deep in the Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast, where they built a state-of-the-art winery in Sebastopol, established several cherished estate vineyards, and also embraced a love of Chardonnay. They also embarked on explorations into the Anderson Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands, and Sta. Rita Hills—regions from which they had always aspired to make wine. In each of these places, they sought out vineyards that ignited their quest to craft terroir-driven wines of exceptional quality, where the unique personality of each site shines through in every vintage.
Cerise Vineyard, Anderson Valley
It was in 1998, while working together at a wine country restaurant, that founders Dan Kosta and Michael Browne began following their dream of making wine. After months of squirreling away $10 each from their nightly tips, they acquired a half-ton of grapes and a French oak barrel and made the first 24 cases of Kosta Browne Pinot Noir. These early wines garnered acclaim for their profound union of elegance and intensity, and in 2005, five Kosta Browne wines earned rave reviews from Wine Spectator. In the years that followed, Kosta Browne evolved into one of America’s most innovative and iconic wineries.
Kosta Browne Winemaker Julien Howsepian
Today, under the visionary and ambitious leadership of winemaker Julien Howsepian, Kosta Browne continues to achieve. In 2020, the winery realized a long-held dream, making its first vintage from the legendary vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, and Meursault in Burgundy, France. Keeping their focus on Burgundian grapes, 2020 also marked the creation of Kosta Browne’s debut Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine from Russian River Valley’s renowned Keefer Ranch. The following year, they ventured to Oregon, where they crafted their first Appellation Series wine from the famed Willamette Valley and have since made single-vineyard Pinot Noir from Eola Springs Vineyard in the up-and-coming Eola-Amity Hills, as well as the highly acclaimed Shea Vineyard.
“While our vision and reach have expanded, our team has remained small, passionate, and intensely focused,” says Howsepian, who earned his viticulture and enology degree from the University of California, Davis. “We see ourselves as the torchbearers of Kosta Browne’s legacy of artistry and innovation, continuously pushing boundaries both within our winery and in the remarkable diversity of our portfolio.”
Kosta Browne Hospitality Center, Sebastopol, CA. Photo by Mitch Rice
‘The Gallery,’ at Kosta Browne’s Hospitality Center
Experience Kosta Browne wines at their tasting room in Sebastopol, California, located at The Barlow, a one stop shop for boutique shopping, art galleries, exceptional food, spirits, and breweries. For assistance in planning your trip to Kosta Browne, or for hotel and restaurant recommendations, contact [email protected].
Photos courtesy of Kosta Browne