Winemaker + Director of Operations
Although Brian cranked out a degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis and has spent the last twelve years in the wine business, he feels the honeymoon’s not nearly over. From internships at Iron Horse Vineyards in Sonoma, Salitage in Pemberton, Australia, and Napa Wine Company in Oakville to his first full time gig as an Enologist at Trefethen Vineyards, Brian learned how to make technically sound, vineyard driven wines that expressed fruit qualities over those of winemaking manipulation. After two and a half years of grunt and gristle, he decided to focus on ultra-premium small production winemaking at Vineyard 29 in Napa Valley, then moving to the newly built Round Pond Estate Winery where he remained for seven vintages. As if that weren’t enough to keep him satiated, Brian was concurrently offered the opportunity to lead a small team in developing the ONX program in the heart of the Templeton Gap of Paso Robles. In the Spring of 2014, Brian turned his full focus to ONX Wines, as Winemaker and Director of Operations. His coals remain fully stoked.
Having lived in the LA Beaches, Singapore, Western Australia, Switzerland, Wisconsin, and Texas, Brian is undoubtedly the most worldly member of the team here at ONX. However, for a man that grew up idolizing He-Man and the 1982 movie version of Conan the Barbarian as a child, he has a acquired a love for delicacy in his adult life, frequently enjoying crisp Alsatian whites, Australian Rieslings, throwing pottery, and, of course, making mix-tapes.
KIETH EMERSON AND BRIAN BROWN
Kieth Emerson Boston native, winemaker Keith Emerson has more than 15 years of experience in the wine industry. He is one of the few winemakers who excels in crafting both Bordeaux and Burgundian varieties and produce wines from Napa, Sonoma, Oregon and Santa Cruz. In 2005, Emerson joined Napa’s Vineyard 29 as Director of Winemaking charged with managing the production of Vineyard 29’s estate portfolio. As director, Emerson oversees all wine programs for Vineyard 29’s ultra-premium custom crush clientele, managing wine production
for prestigious producers including Melka, Skipstone, Levensohn, Knighton Family and Vinoce. Concurrent to his Vineyard 29 duties, in 2005 Emerson partnered with friend and colleague, Brian Brown on the artisan winemaking endeavor, Emerson Brown Wines. He also consults for Robert Craig Winery, Gundlach Bundschu, Martin Ray Winery and founded a limited production Shea Vineyard Oregon Pinot Noir called Sonría in 2009. He holds a B.S. in Enology and Viticulture degree from University of California, Davis.
Brian Brown earned his Viticulture and Enology degree from University of California, Davis in 2001. After graduating, Brown worked harvests at Iron Horse Vineyards in Sonoma, Salitage in Pemberton Australia, and Napa Wine Company in Oakville. Eventually Brown was hired as enologist at Trefethen Vineyards where he spent two and half years learning to make technically sound, vineyard driven wines that express fruit qualities over those of winemaking manipulation. Brown finally turned his focus to ultra-premium winemaking and moved to Vineyard 29 as enologist, where he met friend and colleague Keith Emerson. After two successful vintages
crafting wines with Emerson at Vineyard 29, Brown was hired as winemaker for Round Pond Estate.
Simultaneous to his responsibilities at Round Pond, in 2005 Brown partnered with Keith Emerson to create an artisan winemaking endeavor called Emerson Brown Wines. Brown and Emerson have consistently collaborated since then and successfully made Emerson Brown what it is today. With a proven track record of quality and value, they continue to deliver Napa Valley wines of exceptional character and style.
Jay attended Santa Clara University in California and received a Bachelor of Science degree in the combined disciplines of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. After graduation in 1996 he returned home to the Napa Valley where intense home winemaking coupled with harvest work at The Hess Collection Winery fueled a passion for the art and science of wine.
A trip to Australia delayed original plans for medical school but the voyage continued his wine knowledge and progression into the wine industry. Upon his return to Napa, Jay became the Enologist for the Hess Collection Winery and started the family winery and vineyard management company with his brothers.
In 2001 he was promoted to Winemaker for the Hess Collection where he remained until the spring of 2005. Jay has moved on from his day job as winemaker to not only focus even more time on his responsibility as Buoncristiani’s winemaker, but also to pursue his current role as hands-on Consulting Winemaker for various new Napa Valley labels.
(SHERWIN FAMILY VINEYARDS)
RANDY LEWIS and JOSH WIDAMAN
With a B.S. in Viticulture & Enology from UC Davis, Josh brings 15 years of winemaking experience to Lewis, where he is a large and ever-smiling presence.
Josh came to us from Pahlmeyer where he had been winemaker. His previous experience includes 4 years as assistant winemaker at Chimney Rock Winery and multiple roles at Stags’ Leap Winery, Gloria Ferrer, and Viña Tarapaca in Chile.
When he's not in vineyards or at the winery Josh enjoys cycling, cooking and drinking wine with family and friends.
Randy was a professional race car driver for 23 years. This included Formula Three in Europe, where he fell in love with local wines and lifestyles. Randy returned to the States to compete in Formula 5000, Can Am, and finally Indy Cars from 1983 to 1991.
This included running in five Indy 500's where he qualified on the 4th row three times with a best finish of 13th. Wine has always been Randy's second love after racing and he feels fortunate to be making a living doing what he loves.
Lewis Cellars is a small family winery established in 1992 by Debbie and Randy Lewis, and recently joined by their son Dennis. Total production is approximately 8,500 cases annually of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah.
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. One other project that Randy assists with is Versant Vineyards.
After discovering his passion for wine while a teenager living in Germany, Steve couldn’t resist his calling any longer and left his dental practice in 1994 to create Reynolds Family Winery in Napa Valley. Steve’s passion for family and friends is evident not only in his larger than life persona, but in the fresh, expressive and approachable personality of his wines. These traits are the perfect match for the style of our Hiatus Cellars Chardonnays, with their bright, creamy freshness; Napa Valley Red Wine, with its larger than life expressiveness; and Napa Valley Cabernet with its powerful core and fresh approachability. Steve’s friendship and passion for enjoying wine in the moment ensures our collaboration on Hiatus Cellars creates wines that push the envelope of creativity and deliver fantastic wines to be shared with friends.
With humble beginnings as a dishwasher at Auberge du Soleil and line cook at Mustard’s Grill, Rolando’s appreciation of great wine blossomed with the encouragement of Warren Winiarski, famed founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Starting in 1985, Rolando spent 10 years in the employ of Stag’s Leap with the last seven as Cellar Master. With subsequent stops as Assistant Winemaker at Chateau Potelle, Winemaker at Vine Cliff and Executive Director of Winemaking at Paul Hobbs, Rolando culled bits and pieces from each stop and created a winemaking style all his own, producing wines of unparalleled excellence. With Rolando managing the farming of each vineyard, as well as the winemaking, we have the ability to offer a truly unique expression from each vineyard. The cohesiveness of the vision for Hiatus Cellars in the Griffin’s Lair Vineyard Pinot Noir and Apex Napa Valley Red is a culmination of Mark and Rolando’s shared passion for exceptionally expressive wines.
Passionate and energetic Chef, Sommelier and music enthusiast turned winemaker, Bryan brings a unique energy to his winemaking. He launched Page Cellars and Revolver Wine Company in 1997, following an inspired stint teaching wine, wine service and cooking in France. The foodie side of him brings an obsessive desire for balance, fresh acidity and subtle complexity in his wines while his insatiable passion for music requires his wines offer great expression and a unique larger than life personality. Bryan’s attention to detail and cleanliness in his winemaking stems from his deep roots in the chemistry of modern wine country cuisine. His determination to coax every layer of complexity out of each vineyards fruit mirrors his almost transcendent analysis of historic rock lyrics. This penchant for detail and expressiveness made him the perfect partner for producing a French inspired Sauvignon Blanc that is both richly textured and expressive but carries with it the balance and acidity to elevate any meal into a sublime experience.
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.
Behind the project 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.
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.
LINO and ANTHONY BOZZANO
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.
MATT BONANNO and FRITZ STUHLMULLER
Matt Bonanno and Fritz Stuhlmuller joined forces to create Matthew Fritz, MF, with the mission to consistently deliver premium wines from top notch appellations at outstanding prices. Matt and Fritz leverage their access to inside offerings, their wine expertise and wine producing capabilities to consistently provide superior market opportunities.
Bon Anno means "good year" in Italian and over three generations in the wine business, our family has had many good times.
We are the first of the Bonannos to follow our passion into the world of winemaking. We started BonAnno in 2004 with the vision of creating a top quality Napa Cab for today's wine enthusiasts. Our strategy? Source grapes and wine from artisan growers to get the highest quality at the best price. Then carefully handcraft each bottle at one of Napa's top cab houses to create the unique BonAnno style that is consistently fruit driven, juicy and well structured.
So pop it now or let it stand the test of time. Our wine is best enjoyed with friends and family at every occasion.