The four Buoncristiani Brothers founded Buoncristiani Family Winery in 1999 in their early twenties. In fact the youngest brother, Nate, wasn't yet old enough to legally drink wine. Despite their young age, the four brothers already had numerous years of winemaking experience under their belts.
The winemaking tradition in the Buoncristiani family can be traced back to the late 19th century to the Buoncristiani Brother's great, great grandfather Nonno Angelo. The Buoncristiani family originated in the small town of Orentano located in Italy’s Toscana region. The family crafted Sangiovese, Trebbiano, and Vin Santo wines. In the early 1930’s, the Buoncristiani Brother's great grandfather Yaccipo immigrated with half his family to the United States, bringing with him the tradition of winemaking. Yaccipo settled in San Francisco’s North Beach area and fermented fruit from the surrounding valleys in his basement. Bisnonno Yaccipo would then share his wine with family and friends.
During the time period between 1940 and 1965, the Buoncristiani Brother's paternal grandfather, Nonno Ozzie, and his uncle were wholesale wine distributors in the Bay Area and had the exclusive distributorship of all Beaulieu Vineyard wines. Their exclusive distributorship was based in San Francisco and ranged as far north as Oregon, to the east including Nevada, and south to Santa Barbara, California. Nonno Ozzie also managed and owned a restaurant, The Chuck Wagon Steakhouse in the West Portal neighborhood of San Francisco, extending his love for food and wines to others.
In 1972, the Buoncristiani Brother's father Roberto Buoncristiani continued the tradition of making wine. He and the four brother's padrino (Angel Sierra) built their own equipment including a press and crusher. Roberto made wine as a labor of love. Every year at Christmas you would find Roberto and his four sons with their wagon, carting around gifts of wine that were to be passed out to the neighbors.
Roberto and Angel bought their own fruit up until 1980. After 1980, Roberto began to grow his own fruit in the Napa and Sonoma valleys. He planted and managed Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Franken Riesling in leased vineyards. Many of the wines he crafted at that time won awards from both the county and state. Roberto's wife Mimi, and mother to the four Buoncristiani Brothers, was dubbed the official taster. Wines were not bottled until she gave the final “ok.”
Roberto made sure that all four of the Buoncristiani Brothers were involved with the entire winemaking process. His philosophy was simple; good wine is achieved through good viticultural practices. At a very young age the four brothers were taught the ways of the vineyard including how to prune vines and pick grapes. Riding the tractor on Dad’s lap, stomping barefoot on the “starter batch” of grapes, and tasting wine diluted with water were all fond childhood memories.
While the Buoncristiani Brothers grew up making wine, it was only a family hobby. In 1997 the brothers resurrected Roberto's old winemaking equipment and decided to try their hand at winemaking again. The resulting 1997 and 1998 vintages of wine they crafted were well received and so in 1999 after much discussion and a generous loan from their Zia (Aunt) Nella, the four Buoncristiani Brothers founded Buoncristiani Family Winery.
Buoncristiani Family Winery
DESPARADA (BURKE WINE CO.)
I arrived at a vineyard in Paso Robles on something of a lark after fleeing Toronto’s hustle and sleet. I had nothing but a crazy dog, a tiny camper and a few changes of clothes, and I couldn’t have been more delighted. I came following a light I’ve chased my whole life, but never thought I’d see so close. I’ve chased that light across North and South America, always grasping, nearly catching hold and watching it dart past. I don’t know what it is, I hope I never do, I would hate to get old and boring, but I am certain that it’s something in wine and I just have to get a closer look. In my wild chase, I’ve been everything I could for wine: importer, broker, retailer, cellar rat, harvester, vintner. The moment I set foot in that Paso vineyard, I knew I was closer than I had ever been, I just had to stay and explore.
That was years ago now, and my journey has begun a new chapter. My life working, loving and living in wine has brought me closer day by day to knowing exactly what the hell I’ve been after for so long. Honestly, I hope I never rest, I hope that by living in pursuit I coax that light to run along side me.
FieldRecordings is 33-year old winemaker Andrew Jones’ personal catalog of the people and places he values most. Spending his days as a vine nursery fieldman planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over California, Andrew is sometimes offered small lots of their best fruit on the side. Having stood in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast, he has a keen eye for diamonds in the rough: sites that are unknown or under-appreciated but hold enormous untapped potential. As friendships are made and opportunities are embraced, Andrew produces small quantities of soulful wine from these unusual, quiet vineyards.
Taken from photographs of starlings in flight, the artwork for the Field Recordings label documents natural, un-staged patterns that can never be repeated nor replicated. In the same way, each bottle of Field Recordings Wine captures the inimitable circumstances of each vineyard, vintage, and friendship that made it possible.
FOLKWAY (Burke Wine Co.)
(REPRESENTED THROUGH BURKE WINE CO.)
Current Release and Notes:
Folkway Wine Company is the beloved project of Lino and Anthony Bozzano. Discarding the prevailing wisdom of the day in favor of observation and experience, they seek to capture the character of each site in its unique expression of Bordeaux varietals with honesty and integrity. Born to Italian immigrant walnut and cherry farmers in California’s Central Valley, Lino and Anthony are true sons of the land.
HERMAN STORY (Burke Wine Co.)
Current Releases and Notes:
I am Russell P. From, proprietor, winemaker and waste water specialist at Herman Story Wines.
Herman Story Wines are made, schlepped, peddled, and drunk with friends by me. The basic web design books tell me that you’re probably here for the basics: to find release schedules, ordering information and tasting opportunities for the wines I make, which sounds pretty good to me. The less time I spend writing this stuff the more time I spend in the cellar. So here you go, all the facts with none of the filler. An aesthetic I stand by and believe my wines do too.
I release my wines twice a year, in Spring and Fall. The set listed below was mostly set loose in Fall 2013. If you want to get in on the action and try some of my stuff, you can scroll down and join the Wait List for my Wine Club, or come visit me at my tasting room in Downtown Paso Robles at
1227 Paso Robles Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446.
It’s open Thursday – Sunday from 11AM – 4PM and I would love to see your shining face there.
Russell P. From
Current Releases and Notes:
Founded in 2012 by Mark and Patty Davidowski, Hiatus Cellars strives to create uniquely flavorful wines by pairing great vineyards with their winemaking soul mates. Each winemaker holds special talents for coaxing the best out of certain vineyards, culminating in each project offering truly personal expressions of these vineyard sites. The resulting portfolio of vineyard driven wines offers a chance to enjoy this unique vision of each vineyard site, as seen by Mark and his winemakers. We hope you enjoy!
In 1992 Debbie and Randy Lewis established a small family winery in Napa Valley and were later joined by their son Dennis in 1999. Total production is approximately 9,000 cases annually of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
We are literally hands-on in every aspect of vineyard management, winemaking, sales and distribution, and we thrive on this challenge and the relationships we cultivate in the process. It is our continuing goal to create world-class wines.
Sans Liege is my relentless search for independence. After many years learning from and working with good friends who have since made their mark as winemakers, I decided it was time to take what I’d gathered with them, and to go my own way. Equally aligned with the freedoms of the New World and the heritage of the Rhone Valley, I am careful not to hold too closely to either. Instead I trust an intuition of the microcosms of each vine and vintage to guide my work in the cellar.
Sans Liege sources fruit from Central Coast vineyards that have captured my heart. They speak for me and I for them; the only partners now on this path I tread.
CURT SCHALCHLIN Winemaker, Sans Liege Wines & Groundwork Wines
SHERWIN FAMILY VINEYARDS
Natives of Clayton, CA, in San Francisco’s East Bay, Steve and Linda Sherwin yearned for a quieter, more relaxed setting to raise their three children. A series of weekend visits to the Napa Valley in 1996 finally uncovered a 30-acre property near the top of Spring Mountain. The property featured a beautiful home and a serene lake, but the real prize was 2.5 acres of mixed old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. This small vineyard was in the same location that was originally part of a 500-acre estate producing sought-after grapes from the late 1800s through Prohibition.
With a successful career in construction development behind him and a true hands-on approach, Steve began clearing and planting vineyards around the original acres virtually by himself. He planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, and finished 14 acres later.
Sherwin Family Vineyards released their first wine, a 1996 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, in late 1999. A scant 140 cases were produced and quickly discovered by several local restaurants, retailers, and individual customers.
Marked by the firm backbone of Spring Mountain fruit, their Cabernet Sauvignon shows remarkable density and concentration. Produced and cellared on the property in a new gravity-flow winery, Steve employs traditional winemaking methods of fermenting in one-ton bins, along with hand punch downs and hand racking.
The owners of Sherwin Family Vineyards share their American Dream.
Community minded and deeply patriotic, the Sherwins created a very special bottle featuring the American Flag—each hand-painted and numbered—to benefit the families of those lost on September 11. Sherwin Family Vineyards continues to donate these bottles to various charitable causes, as well as offering them to customers at the winery. Because of these Commemorative American Flag Bottles, Sherwin Family Vineyards has become widely known as the “Home of the Patriotic Pour.”