I’ve had the dream to make wine since I was a kid. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about wine since then. Each year my friends and fellow vignerons John Caldwell (Yes, that John Caldwell, aka “JFC”) and Bill Sanderson (Madrone Ridge Winery) take a trip to investigate the practices of the best wineries of Europe. We draw inspiration, and continued passion from the knowledge shared. For me great wine is a continuing process and investment in improvement, from grape growing to winemaking, it is the driving force of B Wise Vineyards.
We work with the special terroir of our home vineyard in the Sonoma Valley as well as other special sites in Napa Valley and the Sonoma Coast. We invest all our passion into the winemaking process from start to finish. Our wines are expressions of this commitment to great wine and the vineyards in which they are grown.
Together with Massimo, Mark, Enrique, and the crew, we endeavor to produce authentic, graceful wines that you will find both inspiring and memorable.
– Brion Wise
When it comes to making great wine, history tells us that it’s all about the vineyard. Our noblest of all quests is to uncover the purest expression of our vineyards and this piece of earth – a story told through our wines. Situated in the western Mayacamas foothills of the Sonoma Valley, 20 acres of our 100-acre ranch are planted in vines. Planted on varied faces and slopes, with various soil profiles, we have 6 different root stocks and 17 different clones, 6 of which are Cabernet Sauvignon. Red volcanic ash makes up the majority of the rocky, thin soil profile and imparts the sought-after, mineral-driven component to our wines.
Our in-house Vineyard Manager, Enrique Castillo implements sustainable farming practices throughout. Focusing our efforts on creating healthy, balanced vines, we farm almost entirely by hand throughout the year from pruning, to thinning, to harvest. We spur and cane prune each spring with a focus on low yields. Harvest often spans over the course of 6-8 weeks, allowing plenty of time for multiple passes and picking by individual blocks and rows based on ripening.
Brion spends harvest at the estate, walking the vineyards with Enrique and both Massimo and Mark nearly every day to ensure that each variety is picked at optimal ripeness and flavor. Once harvested, the wines are made in individual micro-lots.
Sustainability is a lifestyle, not a buzz word. Although not certified organic, we farm sustainably and organically for the production of better wine and retaining responsible stewardship of the land. Within our 100-acres we foster a native ecosystem with oak, mazanita and madrones that provide ample room and cover for all sorts of wildlife including insects, owls, falcons, hawks, wild turkey, fox, coyotes, raccoon, deer and bobcats. Among the vines we plant cover-crops of fesque, pea, alfalfa, mustard, California poppies, and other flowering and seed grasses.
In our pursuit to make exceptional wine from our mountainside estate, we hired Massimo Monticelli as our winemaker. Previously with Silver Oak, he’s been working with us since the beginning of B Wise (over 12 years now), and has made us proud of every bottle along the way. In 2012 Massimo and I decided to bring Mark Herold on board to help us take the Cab program to the next level. Mark rose to winemaking fame with his uber-successful Merus Cabernet and has a pile of accolades on top of that, so we’re excited to see what he and Massimo can do together as a combined force.