The Brown family is a great group of folks. Any of us would be lucky to call them our friends plus they create beautiful wine! Their fun personalities and drive infuse both their winery and wine with a lovely characteristics our CKJY Exports team admires and appreciates. Truly, there are so many impressive characteristics of Brown Estate Vineyards that it’s been difficult to find a starting point for this blog. 

Brown Estate ready for the holidays.

The Making of a Family Winery –

Let’s begin with the family: The Browns met in Dr Brown’s office in Los Angeles; where Mrs Brown began working there as a nurse.  They later were married and gave birth to three children: Deneen, David, and Coral.

In 1980, they decided to purchase an abandoned ranch, property which they would revitalize and then plant grapevines. The family farmed and sold these grapes to local winemakers for the next 10 years. Dr. and Mrs. Brown encouraged the children to go into the medical field, but the kids had other plans.

Dr. & Mrs. Brown arriving to celebrate Christmas recently.
Dr. & Mrs. Brown arriving to celebrate Christmas recently.

The ranch had become their family’s collective passion, so, in 1995, the kids decided their family should begin their own wine label. The very next year, they bottled their first vintage of Zinfandel, making Brown Estate the first Black owned Estate winery in Napa. This is where their family winery’s history begins. Their family’s values of working hard, honing your craft and being a good neighbor have definitely served to grow their endeavor and their family simultaneously.

Growing a Family Legacy Together –

Since then, they have grown the Estate to be one of the most well known Zinfandel producers in Napa Valley. However, Brown is no one trick pony! They now also produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Charbono, Rose, a Muscat/Viognier blend, and many red blends.

April of 2017 brought their new tasting room to First Street in downtown Napa.  Deneen, David and Coral, the Brown children are still the proud owners of Brown Estate.

Making Their Mark in Napa Area & Beyond –

The Brown family has created a history of being good neighbors and working with their community. In fact, their beautiful Chaos Theory blend was originally created as a one time event for a charity event. However, it was so well received that it is now a part of Brown Estate’s regular wine offerings. In fact, this is the wine that was chosen to be served at a White House dinner by the Obamas.

October 9, 2017 – On social media, the Browns shared this ominous photo of the smoke and hazy sunshine as the Napa fires began to threaten their winery and evacuations were being ordered.

In the midst of the 2017 Napa fires, the Brown family continued to process their crop as flames approached their property. Fire officials staged equipment there to defend their “neighborhood” at the height of the threat. Their family worked side by side with their neighbors to encourage and to rebuild what has been lost.

Firetrucks and equipment staged to fight the 2017 fires at Brown Estate.
Firetrucks and equipment staged to fight the 2017 fires at Brown Estate.

Deneen, David and Coral head up the Brown Estate team and their spirit is undeniable. They are go givers who have developed their talents to share even more through their winery and wine.

Social Media Ninjas –

Most wineries have social media and share things that are happening at their winery with the world through these channels. However, if you are seeking a fun winery to follow on Instagram or Twitter, you should follow Brown Estate!

Beautiful Brown Estate’s vineyards

Their social media team does a terrific job to give the internet a sip of the Brown family spirit online. Their family is known for two things – their wine and their hospitality. While it is difficult to sip their wine over the internet, you can easily share a bit of their hospitality through the glimpses they share online.

Lovely grapes make beautiful wine!

If you are planning a visit to Napa, California, you need to book a tasting at Brown Estate! You will drink in their hospitality and savor their wine in a relaxed family like setting. Yes! A definite must when you visit this area.

Beautiful Future Predicted for the Brown family & Brown Estate

The story of these ambitious pioneers is truly inspirational. Their winery is truly a family affair and a true example of “love what you do and you never work a day in your life”.


Published by Todd Wetzel

Family, Living in Napa & the Chicago Cubs 

Our CKJY Exports team affectionately calls him… “THE Todd”.

Todd has 20+ years of experience regarding everything wine, beer, spirits and the service industry. He is a triple threat because provides keen insights to the changing wants of consumers and working knowledge of fine restaurants. Additionally, Todd brings an in depth understanding of how wineries, breweries, distilleries and distributors operate to our team.

Todd is the team’s "go to alcohol expert." He pairs his impeccable taste with a friendly outgoing nature and a big smile on his face. Follow Todd’s blog posts to gain a more in depth understanding of American wine, beer and spirits!

Todd’s go to favorites are.. lush Viogniers, delicious IPA’s and his weakness is a rich Cabernet Sauvignon. But what truly excites him is trying new and creative things!

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