C. Frederic ”Fred” Brander, owner and winemaker, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He moved with his family and settled in Santa Barbara, California. Fred started his career in the wine business by working for a local wine merchant, and later went to work in the wholesale business. While attending college, he started his own wine import company, focusing on wines from France and Argentina.
Sauvignon Blanc by Bob DickeyWishing to make his own wines, and with a fondness for Santa Barbara, Fred and his family established The Brander Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1975. The initial planting was mainly Bordeaux grape varietals and in 1977, the first Sauvignon Blanc grapes were taken to a neighboring winery where Fred Brander produced a wine so distinctive it captured Santa Barbara County’s first gold medal for a wine at a major wine competition (1978 Los Angeles County Fair).
Since its inception, the Brander Vineyard has been highly acclaimed as a top Sauvignon Blanc producer, and for many years the only Brander Vineyard wine was an estate-bottled Sauvignon Blanc. Today, the focus is still Sauvignon Blanc, with one main bottling and several distinctively different reserve wines. Two of these are named for the next Brander generation: Cuvee Natalie and Cuvee Nicolas; another Sauvignon Blanc is the multiple award-winning au Naturel; there are also Sauvignon Blanc wines with individual vineyard designations, such as the wine from Mesa Verde Vineyard and of course, the appropriately-named Uno Mas.
A small quantity of red wine is also produced from estate grapes, featuring the classic Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc). As well as single varietal bottlings, extremely small amounts of Bouchet (a Bordeaux blend) and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon are offered.
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