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Ryan Cochrane Wines

Santa Barbara County region

An up-and-coming artisan winemaker focused on vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs

With grapes sourced from the best vineyards he can get his hands on, Ryan Cochrane produces extremely limited quantities of vineyard designated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County on California’s Central Coast. Although relatively new to the wine business, Ryan Cochrane has already established himself as an award-winning winemaker with a loyal following of his Burgundian-style wines.

After earning a degree in marketing from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, Ryan Cochrane moved to San Francisco where he launched a successful career in marketing and advertising. Over the years, Ryan worked as an art director, a freelance copywriter, and a creative director for a number of marketing communications companies. Today, he still maintains his ‘day job’ in advertising, but escapes to the Central Coast every chance he gets to work on his name sake winery, Ryan Cochrane Wines.

Ryan had always dreamed about making wine, and one foggy morning in July 2009, he decided to stop dreaming about it and actually do it. The advertising agency he was working at had just imploded and he had started freelancing, but it was a bad time for work in San Francisco. Ryan decided that now was the perfect time to experiment with winemaking. He contacted Roger Nichols at RN Estate in Paso Robles and asked to be an intern. Ryan was impressed, not only with Roger Nichols’ beautiful wines, but with his ‘DEY’ (do everything yourself ) approach to his business. That year, Ryan helped in all phases of RN Estate’s harvest, from vineyard work in the spring to pressing and barreling in the fall.

In 2010, Ryan came back to RN Estate and made one barrel of his inaugural Ryan Cochrane Pinot Noir on the side. The following year, he made three barrels and was promoted to Roger’s assistant winemaker. He made two different Pinots in 2012 and introduced his first Chardonnay in 2013. All of the fruit was sourced from among the best vineyards in Santa Barbara County, including Fiddlestix Vineyard in Santa Rita Hills and Solomon Hills Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley.

Ryan proudly designed the ‘Ryan Cochrane’ wine labels himself, incorporating artwork from the Ryan family coat of arms (Ryan is his first name and also his mother’s maiden name) and the family motto from the Cochrane side, Virtute et Labore (With strength and effort).

With a number of 90+ ratings already to his name, Ryan Cochrane is a producer to watch and one our Pinot Noir Series members should definitely have on their radar. Cheers!

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Ryan Cochrane - Winemaker

Picture of Ryan Cochrane - Winemaker

Ryan Cochrane is the owner and winemaker for his namesake operation in Santa Barbara County. His focus has always been on Pinot Noir (his favorite varietal) because, in his words, “it’s food friendly, extremely versatile, and seems to express the terroir from which it’s grown better than any other varietal. For me, it’s just so nuanced, complex, delicate yet substantial, feminine, and beautiful.”

We couldn’t agree more! Ryan loves making Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County and bringing out the characteristic brightness and liveliness the region’s fruit is known for.