Winemaking

 

Our wine production is located here on our estate vineyard, mere yards from the nearest vines. This proximity allows us the great luxury of processing the grapes almost immediately after they are harvested in the fall, which has a tremendously beneficial impact on our wines. (The chemistry of wine grapes begins to change the minute they are picked, and transporting the fruit over long distances via truck can have a deleterious effect on the quality of the finished wine.)

The winery building itself, universally referred to by the staff here as “The Barn”, was initially the only structure here at Brander, and wine tastings were for many years held inside at a rustic picnic table, personally hosted by Fred Brander himself.

While times have changed- our wine tastings are now held in a separate, temperature-controlled building with art of Fred Brander’s father on the walls and superb views of our vineyards- the barn remains the epicenter of winemaking activity here. (We still host guests on warm days at a quaint outdoor tasting bar attached to the barn, and so the spirit of the early years proudly lives on in this way!)

Equipped with high-end European tools of the trade such as our grape crusher and destemmer; numerous modern stainless steel tanks for fermentation and blending; a gentle, electronic pneumatic press which allows us to precisely create and monitor pressing cycles for the grapes; a well-organized cellar area for oak barrels; energy-saving, passive temperature-controlled space for storing our bottled wines; and a dedicated cold room for cold stabilization of our white wines, our winery allows us to produce all of our wine right here on our property. We are thus able to exercise absolute attention to detail throughout every phase of a wine’s life, from the moment the grapes are crushed, until the wine is carefully bottled months or years later.

Additionally, our winery gives us the ability to keep individual lots of grapes (from specific blocks or sub-blocks in the vineyard) separate during fermentation. This in turn provides us with a greater variety of options when it comes time to blend the finished wines: rather than being forced to blend all of our Cabernet Sauvignon together in one vast tank before placing the wine in barrel for aging, for example, we can produce individual lots based on clonal selection or ripeness of the grapes at harvest, allowing us to create finished wines of greater nuance and complexity than would otherwise be possible.

Of course, the finest facility in the world can’t make wine by itself, and we feel that our winemaking team, headed by owner Fred Brander and Winemaker Fabian Bravo, is among the very best in the business. With many years of experience in working together, our staff has an almost telepathic ability to work together, while focusing on treating the grapes and the finished wine with utmost respect and care throughout the entire production and maturation process.