Fred Brander – Owner & General Manager
C. Frederic “Fred” Brander, owner and general manager, was born and raised in Buenos Aires, and later emigrated with his family to the US, settling in Santa Barbara. After graduating from Harvey Mudd College with a degree in Chemistry, he went on to pursue studies in Enology at UC Davis. Fred started his career in the wine business by working for a Santa Barbara wine merchant, and later went to work in the wholesale business. While attending college, he started his own small wine import company, bringing in wines from France and his native Argentina.
Wishing to make his own wines, and with a fondness for Santa Barbara, Fred and his family established The Brander Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1975, where he quickly developed a reputation for making outstanding Sauvignon Blanc. Fred’s passion for this varietal has committed him to be California’s top producer of Sauvignon. With over 30 vintages “in the bottle,” he is a pioneer of the Santa Barbara wine country.
Fabian Bravo – Winemaker
Fabian Bravo joined Brander in 2007. He graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Electrical Engineering. Fabian worked in aerospace for a few years and enjoyed life as an engineer but had a growing interest in winemaking. With the help of a good friend, Fabian found himself working harvest at Siduri in Santa Rosa. While working at Brander, Fabian is involved with production, cellar crew management, bottling and assisting with our private label marketing.
Nik Brander – Sales and Production
Nik represents the third generation of the family business. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, he attended Laguna Blanca School and then went on to finish his studies at Wheaton College in Massachusetts before completing his first full crush at Brander in 2013. With eight years of playing high school and college Lacrosse, Nik has developed into an inspired and experienced player. While working as part cellar rat and part Tasting Room associate, he is currently training with the Argentine National Team to play in his second World Cup of Lacrosse in Denver this summer.
Laurie Hale – Office Manager
Laurie was born and raised in the Santa Ynez Valley, less a few years in Colorado. She has three beautiful kids (25 to 11) and one grandson. She and her boyfriend have also rescued two fur babies from the local animal shelter. She worked various jobs in the Valley and returned to the workforce when her kids were a little older. She has worked in the wine industry since 2013.
Laurie handles the accounting, reservations, scheduling, HR, order processing and general customer service assistance at Brander.