- 1997: Friends/coworkers Dan Kosta and Michael Browne pool their tips to buy grapes and a hand-cranked crusher/destemmer.
- 2005: Kosta Browne’s 2003 vintage has 5 wines scored over 90 points, with two 95 WS scores. A wait list to purchase is in place.
- 2011: Kosta Browne’s 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is named Wine Spectator’s #1 Wine of the Year with a production of 5,800 cases.
- Kosta Browne produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sourced from meticulously kept vineyards across key Sonoma Coast appellations. While the characters of the wines vary between appellations, they each share a distinctive signature of elegant intensity.
- Sonoma Coast expresses cool climate characteristics, complex flavours and richly textured wines.
- Russian River Valley allows Pinot Noir to develop intense flavors balanced by elegant body and mouthfeel.
- Keefer Ranch sits in the coolest part of Russian River Valley, known as Green Valley.
- Gap’s Crown Vineyard is situated slightly inland, where it sits along the Petaluma Wind Gap, which gives it a favourable coastal influence.
- One Sixteen Chardonnay harnesses the marine influence along the Russian River to mature gracefully, creating complex flavours and bright natural acidity.
“We’ve been making wine for almost 20 years, although it still often feels like it all just began yesterday. Sometimes it’s worth taking a moment to pause and think about where we’ve come from and how we got to here. These stories, told by us and others we’ve met along the road, make us smile – ever grateful for the journey.”
What began as a project between a restaurant GM and a sommelier, funded by an envelope of saved tips, has become a global benchmark for California Pinot Noir.
Since the very start of our winemaking journey, we’ve been obsessed with seeking out special vineyards as the sources for our wines. Our search for great Pinot Noir has taken us throughout California but we focus on three appellations—Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley and Santa Lucia Highlands. We feel that these growing regions and the farmers who work them are among the best in the world.
Anderson Valley – Our most northerly growing region and one that is decidedly wild. Centered on the town of Boonville, the region offers steep hillsides, rocky terrain and exposures that push vines to their limits. The estate property, the Cerise Vineyard, is our focal point for the valley. We’ve been long-time fans of the region and are thrilled to now be wine growers here ourselves.
Sonoma Coast – An area that overlaps with the Russian River Valley in many places and whose true qualities are similarly shaped by the ocean. Local geology can be complex here, a direct result of being located on the intersection of two tectonic plates. We find ourselves drawn to vineyards that are influenced by the ocean and consistently reflect this in the quality of the fruit they produce.
Gap’s Crown – Located in the Sonoma Coast and heavily influenced by the Petaluma Gap, this Estate vineyard has been with us since 2006 and contributed to the 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir that was Wine Spectator’s #1 Wine of the Year in 2011. Steep hillsides and a variety of clones help add diversity to this vineyard whose aspects were carefully planted to encourage even sunlight exposure during the final stages of fruit ripening. The coastal influence is key at Gap’s Crown – late season fog becomes trapped and takes a little longer to burn off. The fruit is allowed to ripen a little more slowly, creating more balanced and evolved flavors.
Russian River – There can be many differences between vineyards in this small appellation but the majority of them do share a common influence – the cooling effect that follows the Russian River inland from the Pacific coast. This fog helps keep nights cool and offers vines a respite from daytime temperatures. In turn, these diurnal temperature swings slow down ripening and promote more evolved flavors in our grapes. We work with vineyards that span a diverse and varied view into a region that many would call the heartland of California Pinot Noir.
Keefer Vineyard – This Estate vineyard lies within Green Valley, in the southwestern corner of the Russian River Valley. Here, gently rolling hills harbor some of the coolest conditions within the appellation – fog, breezes and fresh nights help vines balance their ripening with warm afternoon sunshine. A heralded property, Keefer has been in the Kosta Browne family since 2005 and we are drawn to the terrific natural acidity and elegance we find in the grapes we farm here. Classic Goldridge soils offer Pinot Noir an ideal home.
ONE SIXTEEN CHARDONNAY
SONOMA GAP PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER PINOT NOIR
KEEFER RANCH PINOT NOIR