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The Rite of Interns

Harvest interns gather around while a seasoned cellar worker cleans a stainless steel tank.

Each year, people come here to make wine

Portrait of a female cellar worker wearing an 'I love you California' t-shirt.

Dana, Canada

Portrait of a male cellar worker wearing a hat and glasses, with his arms crossed, smiling.

Jack, New Jersey

Portrait of a female cellar worker wearing overalls, with her hand over her mouth laughing.

Cat, South Africa

Lineup of many opened Kosta Browne wines in front of French oak barrels used to age wine.

it’s not glamorous at all

Low vantage point near wet concrete floor with hoses and people standing around wearing boots. Female cellar crew putting hot water into a white bin, wearing protective glasses and clothing.

great winemaking demands preparation

Male cellar crew member wearing gloves and a black sweatshirt spraying down stainless steel sieve in a bin.
Female cellar crew inside fermenter photo taken from the manway door.
Male cellar crew pressure washing the inside of a fermenter.
Cleaning Tanks

and planning is vital

Whiteboard in cellar showcasing the total tonnage from the various sites we source from or own.
Four male cellar workers unpackage new French oak barrels.
Male cellar worker label French oak barrel with 'KB15'.
Close up of the Brix Log the production team uses to track each individual lot of grapes we receive.

fourteen interns this year

Perspective from afar, barrels line either side of the barrel room with a group of cellar workers gathered at the end conversing. Two male cellar workers transferring wine from fermentation tank to oak barrels. Low vantage point of cellar workers in muck boots, their reflections shown on the wet cellar ground.

seeking to learn how fine wine is made

Close up of the hands of cellar workers sifting through grapes. Two males testing a lineup of chardonnay. Four males from the cellar crew sniffing wine from Burgundy glasses with barrels in the background.

sweating the details of every vineyard and every pick

A female removing a bunch of grapes from the vineyards to test.
A female labeling large Ziploc bags to gather vineyard samples in.
Close up photo of a female trimming a bunch of grapes from the vines with shears.
A female walking between the vineyards holding an oversized ziploc bag of grape samples.

one barrel at a time

A male cellar worker filling a barrel with wine as he is simultaneously peeking into it with a handheld light.

working 14 hour days

Black and white image of past cellar assistant Dana Benn working on her knees on the stainless steel grape sorter.
Cellar workers sorting through grapes, by hand and with a rake, on a conveyor belt.
Up close shot of two hands manually sorting through grapes.
Male cellar worker unpacking a brand-new oak barrel on a rack, holding a large quantity of plastic wrap in his hands. Male cellar worker sprays down cellar floor with hose, while other sits off to the right side on a bucket looking at his phone.

every day for manic weeks

Male cellar looking up as he drops grapes from a bin on forklift into a steel fermentation tank. Cellar worker squeegees the cellar floor drawing the excess towards the drain.
A male intern punching the cap of grapes down in a stainless steel tank.
A male from the production crew inoculating barrels.
Female intern on top of a ladder leaning against a stainless steel tank.

to put their mark on a vintage that happens only once

A female from the production team standing on a ladder with a hose in her hand in front of a stainless steel tank. Oversized Ziploc bag full of grapes, bag is labeled Keefer Pom 5. Macro shot of wine gushing out of valve into a pitcher with a metal whisk.

and come through the other side of it

The annual harvest intern tasting of past vintages. Male and female crew members holding bottles of Pinot Noir.
Low vantage point of people serving plates of food from a buffet.
Interns sitting at a long table in the barrel room with open bottles of wine and notes in front of them.
Two people sharing a laugh as multiple open bottles of wine sit in front of them.

on to further journeys to make wine again

Two men walking out of the cellar doors with the Kosta Browne logo on their shirts.

or coming back to stay

Male winemaker in barrel room with samples of wine on a cart to taste.
Male holding a glass of wine as if about to salute.
Two men smashing grapes in a wood fermentation barrel

as was our rite too.

Black and white portrait of winemaker Nico Cueva wearing a Henley shirt, cleaning his glasses with the bottom of his shirt.

Nico, KB Assistant Winemaker

Black and white portrait of male production crew member wearing a black polo.

JT, KB Assistant Winemaker

Black and white portrait of winemaker Julien Howsepian with a full beard wearing a plaid shirt and shearling-lined Kosta Browne jacket.

Julien, KB Cellar Master

Troyce Hoffman is a northern Californian based photographer specializing in documentary based work. He was embedded with us during much of harvest 2015. You can find Troyce and more of his work at troycehoffman.com.

Stories

We’ve been making wine for almost 20 years although it still often feels like it all just began yesterday. Sometimes it is 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.

2009 - PRESENT

Onward

California Pinot Noir endures in the fine wine world and we are delighted to be a continued part of that conversation. As we mature as a winery we grow in different ways. We construct a custom winery tailored to how we make wine. We work with new financial partners who share our vision for quality. We invest in our first vineyard and begin to grow our own fruit. We are awarded the coveted ‘wine of the year’ – the only Pinot Noir to do so to date. Our focus, however, remains the same as before: making the best Pinot Noir we can.

Shore to Shore
Shore to Shore

“Shore to Shore” is the mini-documentary that follows our winemaker Nico and Chef Mike Lofaro to their respective backyards.
Photography and Film by Rachid Stills + Motion

A Study in Cerise
A Study in Cerise

Our Estate in Anderson Valley
A photo essay by Lindsey Ross

The Crew
Two male cellar workers in green shirts and rubber boots pushing grape bins across the concrete cellar floor.

By KB Winemaking
Photography by Troyce Hoffman

The Rite of Interns
The Rite of Interns

By KB Winemaking
Photography by Troyce Hoffman

2005-2009

PEOPLE ARE WATCHING

After almost nine vintages under our belt something curious started to happen. Interest in what we were doing grew and we began to gain recognition for our winemaking style. Our long awaited ‘overnight success’ struck and the challenge become less one of ‘staying alive’ to one of trying to keep up with the attention and demands while continuing our commitment to quality. We were also finally able to share our success with the original investors who generously backed our vision.

Nothin' Like a Dame
Nothin' Like a Dame

A conversation with Fred Dame (Master Sommellier)
By Matt Villano

1997-2005

ROCKY BEGINNINGS

When we started, we had little more than a shared love of Pinot Noir and the desire to go and make some of our own. We took all that energy and committed ourselves to try our luck. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t always even fun. These formative years tested our resolve and patience beyond compare but laid the quality foundation for what was to come.

The Tip Envelope
Small brown sketch of tip envelope filled with cash next to corks, rubber bands, paperclips and a key ring.

By KB
Illustrations by Beth Whybrow Leeds

Press

We’ve been fortunate to have nice things said about our wines and what we do. Here are some highlights.

Wine Advocate, September 2016 "This was another rock star lineup from Kosta Browne and it’s certainly one of the most impressive lineups I tasted all year. And while I generally consider 2013 to be a better vintage than 2014, these 2014s are a step up over last year’s releases, which were no slouches either."

Wine Advocate, October 2015 "Looking at the 2013's, this was obviously a great vintage for this estate and all the wines showed sensational purity and freshness paired with layered, nicely concentrated and textured profiles. I'd say it's the finest lineup I've tasted from this estate..."

Vinous, July 2014 "Kosta Browne has done a marvelous job with their four 2012 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinots. These wines show why Kosta Browne is among the top Pinot Producers in California."

Wine & Vines, September 2013 "Kosta Browne is ready to crush the 2013 vintage in new, custom built winery.

Vineyard & Winery Management, March 2012 "The Sonoma County producers long road to overnight success..."

Wine Spectator, December 2011 "#1 Wine of the Year..."

Wine Spectator, May 2010 "Fans of Kosta Browne won't be disappointed by the 2008's. This is another very strong vintage for this Sonoma County winery, with 11 outstanding wines that show the level of quality possible..."

Wine Spectator, December 2009 "#4 Wine of the Year..."

Wine Spectator, April 2007 "What Dan Kosta and Michael Browne have accomplished in 2005 is every bit as staggering as their watershed 2004 vintage.."

Wine Spectator, December 2006 "#7 Wine of the Year..."

Wine Spectator, May 2006 "I'm also starting to believe, thanks to them and many others...that we have entered a new era for California Pinot Noir..."

Wine Spectator, December 2005 "#11 Wine of the Year..."

Wine Spectator, September 2004 "Partners Dan Kosta and Michael Browne followed their taste buds into winemaking, parlaying their experience as sommeliers into a boutique Pinot winery in Sonoma..."

Pinot Report, October 2003 "This Pinot really shows off the quality what the Cohn Vineyard can do in the right winemaking hands..."