Estate Winery and Vineyards
An Introduction to Big Basin Vineyards
Wine is a journey and the further along that journey you are, the more you realize that there are more places to go. Winemaker, owner and organic farmer Bradley Brown describes the never ending pursuit of growing beautiful grapes and turning them into soulful wines. Created in collaboration with Mike Hatchett of Standard Films with time lapse photography by Mario Covic and Hyperlapse by Bradley Brown.
Wines That Express Place
Located in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Big Basin Vineyards is terraced into a steep hillside first planted to grape vines by French immigrants over 100 years ago. Our winery and the vineyards we work with are located at sites in the Santa Cruz and Gabilan Mountains that are as beautiful as they are exceptional for grape growing. We farm organically and practice minimal-intervention winemaking with the goal of producing wines that transparently and authentically express site and variety.
We believe that our choice of vineyards, picking at the right time to retain intensity and elegance, and minimalistic winemaking practices are the keys to producing more aromatic and ethereal wines – new world wines with old world soul. Owner and winemaker Bradley Brown has been on a 20 year quest to produce beautiful and soulful wines. Winemaker Blake Yarger joined the team in 2017 and together they are always fine tuning practices to more transparently express the vineyards.
The Santa Cruz & Gabilan Mountains
The Santa Cruz Mountains is the oldest winegrowing region in California dating back to the 1880s. The region is enjoying newfound notoriety, producing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Syrah wines that are considered among the best in the world by top sommeliers and critics. The mountainous topography, rocky soils, and proximity to the cooling ocean are the perfect ingredients for terroir-driven and age worthy wines. Our Estate vineyard is at the geographic center of the mountains, and it is here that Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Roussanne, and Viognier varietals thrive across our 10 acres of CCOF Certified Organic vineyards. We source from three additional Pinot Noir vineyards and one Chardonnay vineyard located within four miles of Monterey Bay.
The extraordinary granitic and limestone soils of the Gabilan Mountains have attracted winemakers for over 40 years. We source Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Grenache and Bordeaux varietals from the Coastview Vineyard. This stunning vineyard is planted on a mountaintop at 2200 ft with views of Monterey Bay. 90+ year old Carignane is sourced from the Wirz Vineyard in the Cienega Valley on the east side of the Gabilan Mountains. We also source old vine Mourvedre from the calcareous hillsides of Chalone AVA at the southern end of the future Gabilan Mountains AVA.
Our winery building was completed in December 2003 on the same site as the original 1890s house/winery structure which burned down in the 1970s. It is a ‘Monitor’-style barn with a timber frame construction built using redwood selectively harvested from the estate.
While the style of building is historic, it is built to be highly energy efficient and ideal for artisan winemaking. The first floor is temperature controlled for controlled barrel aging and fermentations.