Russian River Valley AVA
High quality, limited batch wines of distinctive character
Founded in 2009 by brothers Bryan and Paul Vais, Bailiwick Wines is based in Sonoma County and specializes in producing limited quantities of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Vermentino from top vineyards in Northern and Central California.
The Vais brothers are natives of the San Francisco Bay area and grew up in a family of exceptional cooks, where the heart and soul of their family traditions were centered around great meals complemented by classic California wines. They also spent time living abroad where they gained an appreciation for Old World food and wine traditions, and specifically, a passion for balanced wines that complement meals, rather than overpower them. Bryan and Paul started making wine in their San Francisco garage, now nearly thirty years ago, and it became their ultimate goal to one day start a winery of their own.
While they both went on to pursue careers in engineering, high technology, and finance, the lure of the wine industry was too strong to ignore and they eventually decided to go for it in the fall of 2009. Bailiwick Wines was born!
Bailiwick Wines (bailiwick is one's are of skill, knowledge, authority or work) sources fruit from various vineyards in Northern and Central California, including properties in Sonoma, Lake County, Marin County, Mendocino County, Monterey County, and San Luis Obispo County. The focus is on Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Vermentino, with the goal of featuring multiple appellations to show different expressions of each varietal. Bryan and Paul spend a great deal of time seeking out new vineyards and growers that are aligned with their vision for quality and expressiveness - and actually travel hundreds of miles each year to visit potential sites. They also take special care in the cellar, ensuring their wines are made to harmonize with food – not only reflecting the Old World culture they were initially inspired by, but also embracing their own family traditions of gathering together over great meals complemented by great wines.
Now in their seventh year, the Vais brothers have much to celebrate with their growing artisan wine label, as they continue to earn substantial praise in the national wine press - taking home multiple 90+ scores and Gold Medals since their inception. Bailiwick Wines has become a sought after label by in-the-know local enthusiasts, but the small winery is still fairly under-the-radar. These wines have tiny production numbers and, thus, are very hard to find.
We hope you enjoy this Pinot Noir Wine Club feature of Bailiwick Wines!
Map of the area
Bryan Vais - Winemaker
Bryan Vais is a self-taught winemaker who caught the 'wine-bug' while still in college at UC Berkeley. Surrounded by roommates and friends who introduced him to the great wines of France and California, it wasn't long before Bryan was enchanted by the world of wine.
A few years later, his future wife gave him a winemaking starter kit, which he used to make his first wine - a Santa Maria Chardonnay. It won a ribbon and Bryan was hooked. He continued making wine in his garage, as well as earning ribbons, and gaining encouragement from friends and family.
Since the start of Bailiwick Wines in 2008, Bryan has always sought balance in his winemaking style. He likes to preserve the terroir of each site, while focusing on bringing out the aromatics and acidity in his wines.