Château Julien Winery
Château Julien Making Their Mark With Merlot
Winemaker Bill Anderson
Winemaker Bill Anderson’s knowledge of enology and viticulture stems from his studies at Stanford and UC Davis and his philosophy continues to be as simple as the elegance he achieves in his wines. ‘If you have good grapes and treat them well, do all the details every day and let them do what they will naturally do, you will have a good product.”
Bob and Patty Brower
In 1980, Bob and Patty Brower were traveling in California and came across a charming region with cascading hillsides, warm sunshine, and cool ocean breezes. The region was Monterey County and it made a lasting impression that the Browers simply could not ignore.
On this trip away from their New Jersey home, Bob and Patty discovered the exceptional quality of wines being made from grapes grown in Monterey County. Even as a knowledgeable and avid wine enthusiast, Bob, like most of the wine community then, had not yet realized the huge untapped potential of producing wines from high caliber Monterey County grapes.
For many years prior to that trip, Bob and his best friend in New Jersey had studied as much as they could about wines and the wine industry. Their zeal for learning about wine far exceeded the normal level of enthusiasm and a future in the industry seemed destined and only natural.
Bob’s passionate interest in wine was contagious, and Patty soon caught the bug as well. In fact, it had become a longtime goal of Bob and Patty’s to someday own and operate a winery in California, and with the discovery of Monterey County, the couple had now found the perfect place to start. With the outrageous prices and overbuilt land in Napa Valley, it was an easy decision to create a home in Monterey, which was perfectly suited for grapes and had huge upside potential.
But wine hadn’t always been a part of the Browers’ life. Bob was born and raised in Oceanside, Long Island, New York and attended college at nearby Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. After college, Bob went to work for Shell Oil Company, settling into what easily could have been a life long career. Owning and running a winery was perhaps the furthest thing from his mind.
Bob worked at Shell Oil until the entrepreneurial bug bit him in the early 1970s and he left the company in order to start his own petroleum business. Over the next 10 years he managed to build a small empire of retail service stations and also wholesaled petroleum to other independent gas stations. It was also during this period of time that Bob and Patty met, she having worked for the freight company that hauled Bob’s petroleum to his customers. By 1976, Patty and Bob were working together at Bob’s company and began forging the idea of owning a winery.
On that trip to California in 1980, Bob and Patty fell in love with a beautiful piece of property just outside Carmel, on the outskirts of Monterey County. The Browers had wanted to move to California for years, and when this opportunity presented itself the couple jumped at the chance. Within a year, Bob and Patty moved from their New Jersey home to begin working on their dream, and the winery they constructed was simply remarkable.
The Browers’ vision to open a winery was largely fueled by the aspiring French hospitality and quality of wine that they encountered abroad while visiting French Chateaus and they incorporated this philosophy into every aspect of their new winery. After more than a year of construction, the winery was complete and the Browers named it ‘Chateau Julien’ after an actual chateau on the French/Swiss border.
The Browers strive to replicate the warmth of the family atmosphere they found in France, and enjoy creating a feeling of warmth and welcome at Chateau Julien. ‘Everyone is treated the same here,” says Patty. ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re a wine expert or if you know nothing at all about wines. We try to extend the same courtesy to all.”
Their continuing goal is to offer great wines at prices the general public can afford, and consistently since 1982 Chateau Julien has accomplished just that. If you are lucky enough to find your way to Monterey, the Browers’ chateau doors are open every day. We think you’ll agree they have succeeded not only in producing outstanding wine, but also in creating a comfortable and pleasurable place to enjoy it.