Brick Barn Wine Estate
Santa Ynez Valley AVA
Starting with the inaugural 2015 vintage, our Cabernet Franc Reserve has been a cult favorite for those in the know..
When Norman Williams first acquired the 40-acre property just north of the Santa Ynez River near the city of Buellton in 1968, the Nebraska native had a specific use for the acreage in his mind - the breeding and development of fine Arabian horses. Shortly thereafter, Williams acquired another huge (1,060 acres) piece of land that was originally part of the Buell Ranch.
Williams’ notion was carried out shortly thereafter and a striking 36-stall brick building was created by Italian Stone Mason Carmelo Galletti who placed each split-face brick on the structure by hand. The splendid edifice became the home for noted Arabian stallion Fortel and remained his domicile until the horse’ death at age 32.
Fast forward to the present and Norman Williams and his wife Kathleen have been drawn to a new venture, the Brick Barn Wine Estate. Fueled by a mutual fondness for the great grape, the couple began their endeavor by planting vineyards around the Brick Barn structure. In 2012, another 35 acres were placed under vine in two key locations on the wine estate.
“Our location for growing grapes is ideal,” offered General Manager Elizabeth Dadosky. “With the Pacific Ocean just ten miles away, the marine influence is forceful. Cool morning fog and evening breezes create a moderating effect that enables the fruit to ripen steadily while maintaining a core of natural acidity and structure. The sun’s exposure is persistent each afternoon and provides for the development of rich, layered flavors.”
Brick Barn Wine Estate’s first edition came with a minimal release of around 300 cases of Cabernet Franc in 2018. Now in full production, the winery will produce around 8,500 cases this year.
“That level is sort of our sweet spot,” commented Elizabeth Dadosky. “Our winemaking team, lead by Winemaker Adrian Bolshoi, feels we can remain true to the estate at that production level. He’s an accomplished winemaker, so we heed his advice to the letter.”
Bolshoi is also an exceptional story in his own right. He hails form Moldova, a tiny country of over 3 million in Eastern Europe. Moldova is located between the 45th and 47th parallels, the location of many of the world’s top wine producing regions. Bolshoi graduated from his country’s Polytechnical Institute and eventually found his way to Coastal California’s wine areas. He landed a job with Summerland Winery and joined a small cadre of Moldovan winemakers in the area.
“Adrian is a perfect fit for a small winery such as Brick Barn Wine Estate. Ever since he came to the area in 2011, he has immersed himself in the latest winemaking methods and techniques. His wines are known for their exceptional balanced, deep, impacting flavors, and a true sense of place,” Dadosky added.
Only non-invasive farming practices are employed at Brick Barn Wine Estate. “We believe the battle for great wine is won early in the growing season,” continued Elizabeth Dadosky. “We rarely carry out leafing during the heat of the growing season. Instead, we perform meticulous shoot thinning early in the season and cultivate a balanced fruit zone with ideal exposures. Our goal is to create a perfect canopy from the outset rather than managing the canopy once the fruit has begun developing.”
If accolades and scores mean anything, Brick Barn Wine Estate has provided some exciting results in its relatively short lifespan. Numerous high scores and honors have vaulted the company into the stratosphere of top Central Coast wineries.
“To us, terroir is all important. Our reds and whites are grown in different locations in order to give them all the opportunity to thrive and succeed. Since all of our wines are estate-bottled, we feel this is an important aspect of our success and we are delighted in what our critics and customers have shared with us,” Dadosky defined. Brick Barn Wine Estate’s distinctive label was designed by Kathleen Williams and depicts the front roof line of the remarkable central building. The grounds are among the finest in the Central Coast and possibly the whole of California.
The place is a mecca for important events (weddings and meetings, for example) and among the most photogenic sites available in the entire state.
Brick Barn Wine Estate is a valuable addition to the high caliber wine companies that exist in California and elsewhere. In addition to the marvelous wines it produces, it provides an impeccable getaway site for wine lovers. We know our Platinum Wine Club members will enjoy!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
I am so excited to share our 2017 Cabernet Franc Reserve with you! Brick Barn is a newer estate winery located on the western edge of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley AVA. We planted Cabernet Franc because we believed that it would perform well in our unique terroir - and the results have managed to exceed our high expectations, starting with the inaugural 2015 vintage. Ever since, our Cabernet Franc Reserve has been a cult favorite for those in the know.
What I really love about our Cabernet Franc is that while it offers a sense of richness and dimension, it also exhibits a certain purity and elegance that is honed by our proximity to the Pacific Ocean. To me, this is a wine that showcases what is possible from a cooler-climate Cabernet Franc, especially when crafted with Reserve-level intention.
I hope you enjoy this wine as much as I do - and I invite you to look us up the next time you are in the area.