Big Basin Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery, owned by founder and winemaker Bradley Brown and his sister Wendy. Bradley trained for Emanual Raynaud at Chateau Rayas, and managed to convince Rhone Ranger John Alban to consult for Bradley in the early days. “Proprietor Bradley Brown crafts some of the most compelling, small-production artisan wines in California’s Central Coast”, according to Antonio Galloni, and we totally agree!
Big Basin Vineyards was founded in 1998 on an historic site in the Santa Cruz Mountains next to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The estate had been abandoned since the mid 60's, until Bradley Brown bought it in 1998. It has now been restored to its former glory, and their entire vineyard and olive tree orchards are Certified Organic.
"Our mission is to create wines that reveal the complex nuances of the vineyards that inspire them – cool climate, ocean-influenced, mountain vineyards." Bradley Brown
Winemaking is classic at Big Basin, using only indigenous yeast and manual punch downs. Stems a used to create a savory profile, and wines built around elegance and freshness.
EXPLORE OUR WINES
Located six miles south of Calera’s Mount Harlan AVA, the Coastview Vineyard is perched at 2,400 ft looking over the Salinas Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey Bay. Various Dijon-clones including 113, 114, 115, 667 and 777, plus some Pisoni selection was planted in 2008 on crushed rocks of decomposed quartzite/granite and limestone soils. This is a tightly structured wine built for aging, thanks to being vinified using about 20% stem inclusion with the remainder destemmed whole berry.
The Gabilan Mountains are a rugged granitic and calcareous limestone based range that is hardly hospitable to any crop other than low yielding, character rich wine grapes. Big Basin’s Coastview Vineyard Syrah clearly demonstrates the enormous potential of this very special place, but also highlights winemaker Bradley Brown’s Midas touch with one of Brix Wine’s favorite varieties.
Roussanne is a true wine connoisseur’s wine. It’s not a widely known grape, but those in the know go wild for wonderful examples of this rare white Rhone wine which can age gracefully for decades. Big Basin’s version come from their tiny one acre plot of Roussanne planted in the Homestead Block, and it’s the only planting of this grape in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It’s a demanding and powerful wine; packed full of complexities, nuances and personality, loaded with verve and energy. This rare Roussanne is destined to age wonderfully, and properly aged bottles with 10+ years of cellar time will be a truly sublime experience.
“Old Corral is the eternal reminder that maintaining transparency to site is our end-game. Ultimately, transparency is about revealing all of the nuance and detail a given site has to offer, and if that site is extraordinary, an extraordinary wine is the result. Each vine in Old Corral is planted only three feet apart. The dramatic, steeply terraced rows these vines are planted to are similar to extreme vineyards in the world’s top Syrah regions in the Northern Rhone Valley. These hand farmed vineyards force you to invest a lot for little (grapes) in return. But what you do at harvest proves that it is worth what it takes.” Bradley Brown, Winemaker
The Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir is a appellation wine, using Lester Family Vineyard fruit and grapes from the recently planted Coastgrade Vineyard. The sandy, loamy soils of the Lester site always produce tiny clusters of Pinot Noir which bring amazing concentration and depth to a wine. Coastgrade, located just north of Santa Cruz, hardly three miles from the Pacific Ocean is planted directly across the road from a limestone quarry. The cool climate of this site, coupled with its geology achieved ripening in early October – which is almost unheard of in this ‘early’ vintage. 50% whole clusters were used during fermentation, resulting in a wine with high toned, perfumed aromatics with pronounced minerality and bright acidity.
At a Glance
|WHO:||Big Basin is run by Bradley Brown. Member of the In Pursue of Balance group, Big Basin's wines are elegant and refined.|
|WHERE:||Located at an lofty altitude in the Santa Cruz Moutains, Big Basin's vineyards lie above the fog line, but their proximity to the ocean creates a pretty cool climate.|
|WHAT:||Hand-crafted in small batches, the Big Basin produce is limited and and of great quality. Their core focus is Pinot Noir and Syrah, but other wines are bottled as well.|
|HOW:||Classic approach, using wild yeast and plenty of stems during fermentation, provide structural backbone, while early picking warrants for high and food-friendly acidity.|