What are the odds that two waiters could save enough tip money in order to make wine that would be a smashing success? With no formal training, the highly unlikely ascent to winemaking success makes Dan Kosta and Michael Browne cult figures around Sonoma’s quaint Russian River town of Sebastopol.
The story of Dan Kosta and Michael Browne’s merger started off with just a single barrel of uninspiring Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in 1997. The two aspiring vintners quickly sharpened their craft to become Sonoma County, legendary vintners.
Here’s the crazy thing, the dynamic duo did not own a single vine, and to this day only a cultivated, limited production of pinots and chardonnay is produced out of its Sebastopol warehouse.
Few wineries in Sonoma Country share such a loyal band of devoted followers as Kosta Browne. From its humble beginnings, Kosta Browne is now lauded as the trusted authority in intense, palate popping Pinot Noir.
The private winery located next to Sebastopol’s hottest hang-out, The Barlow, where locals and visitors mingle over hedonistic well-balanced wines; sudsy craft brews; along with meals created by star chefs and derived from adjacent Sonoma farms and nearby Pacific catch.
With a mantra that every wine should possess quality appellations bursting with flavor and intensity, Kosta Browne varietals are sourced locally from both the Russian River, the Sonoma Coast and recently \from Mendocino Country. Each barrel has a purpose and is heightened by the rich terroir of each specific growing region bringing out robust wines with vigorous aromas and flavors.
The deep purple Pinot is aged 16 months in French oak barrels. The result is enticing and convincing, intensely fruity wines that offer hints of bing cherry, blackberry, raspberry, sweet spice, brown sugar, and herbs that attack the palate with a burst of flavor. Kosta Browne Pinot Noir has a boldness similar to a Syrah that knocks your socks off.
The boutique winery produces both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with grapes sourced from an all-star lineup of stellar winegrowers. Coveted vineyards are from the surrounding Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Anderson Valley, Santa Rita Hills, and Santa Lucia Highlands.
A pedigree of quality, appellation bottlings, and single vineyard wines from Keefer Ranch, Amber Ridge, Koplen Vineyard, Kanzler Vineyard, Gap’s Crown Vineyard, Garys’ Vineyard, Pisoni Vineyard, and Rosella’s Vineyard.
It’s been a long, painstaking journey for Sonoma wine legends Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. The vintner duo that started out with just a single barrel of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir back in 1997 just celebrated 20 years of exceptional winemaking at its Barlow location.
To celebrate the two-decade landmark, Kosta Browne hosted a series of special events featuring celebrated chefs throughout 2017. The festivities honored the loyal customers, supporters, friends, and family who’ve been instrumental in the continued success of the winery.
“We would like to thank everyone who has enjoyed our wines and honored us with their continued support over these past 20 years,” said Michael Browne. “It is humbling to think of how far the winery has come so quickly, and the whole team eagerly looks forward to the next 20 years,” mentioned Dan Kosta.
Far from resting on its laurels, the winery at the 20-year mark continues its unrelenting commitment to the pursuit of excellence in all areas. Recent developments include significant investments in vineyards and winemaking. As Browne mentions, “Every vintage tells the story of our chosen vineyards through the medium of wine.”
From the purchase of the fabled Cerise vineyard in Anderson Valley to the recently completed construction of a dedicated small lot fermentation cellar, the winery continues to hone an obsession with crafting stellar wine. Kosta Browne raises the bar on expanding its legacy as a premium producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay across California’s top appellations.
The founders’ guiding principle is as valid today as when it was envisioned two decades ago “Wherever you find great fruit; you’ll find Kosta Browne.”
The winery at the Barlow in Sebastopol was opened in 2103, occupying three buildings that are customized to creating wines with deep character. The winery is not open to the public.
Kosta Browne’s wines can be acquired primarily through the winery’s mailing list, in addition to select restaurants throughout the United States and abroad. Kosta Browne Winery is not open to the public; however, appointments can be made by active members.
The cult following is astounding. There is currently a two-to-three-year waiting list for the appellation wines and a three-to-five-year waiting list for the single vineyard wines.
For more information, visit kostabrowne