Kosta Brown Winery

Kosta Browne Winery

About

For almost 15 years Kosta Browne has crafted intensely flavored and balanced wines from the finest regions in California, including the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Santa Lucia Highlands appellations. Founders Dan Kosta, Michael Browne and Chris Costello’s dedication to quality, stewardship and commitment to customer relationships has propelled the brand to industry leader, producing some of the most sought after new world Pinot Noirs.

Location Description

Located in Sebastopol, California.

Features

  • We offer three appellation wines: our Sonoma Coast, Russian River and Santa Lucia Highlands and also a Chardonnay. These wines are blended to represent the best of our vineyards in each specific appellation. Quality is of utmost importance with these blends.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Average Bottle Price

$ 65.00

Winemaker

Michael Browne
Founder - Executive Winemaker

Michael moved to Sonoma County in 1987 from Washington State with the goal of becoming an architect. While working at local fine dining establishments to pay the bills, he fell in love with the pleasures of the local wines and was intrigued by winemaking and viticulture through his many visits to local wineries and vineyards. The idea of being involved in agriculture, as well as the craft of winemaking, pushed Michael into the pursuit of producing fine wines.

Michael was in the restaurant industry for 15 years, fueling his passion for wine and food. The majority of this time was spent at John Ash & Co. in Santa Rosa where he waited tables, bartended and worked the line in the kitchen. The last two years at John Ash & Co. were spent on the floor as a sommelier.

Michael started working with Deerfield Ranch Winery in 1997 as a volunteer and became Co-Winemaker in 2000. This is where his passion developed into a love of Pinot Noir. “The challenges of this grape are many and the rewards are endless, but I have to say, I think my greatest joy is working hand in hand with some of the finest growers in Sonoma County”, says Michael.

When not crafting rocking Pinot Noir or walking the vineyards, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, Sarah and their children (Logan, Lauren and Lyvia).

History

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to venture into winemaking. They saved tip money for about eight months and eventually had enough to buy a half ton of Pinot Noir, a used barrel and an old hand-crank stemmer-crusher, a purchase that marks the beginning of Kosta Browne. Since that vintage, they have nurtured relationships with the best growers and honed their winemaking skills, making sure to focus on the vision and values with which they began.

In 2001, Dan and Michael partnered with Chris Costello and his family, who collectively provided the business experience and relationships that gave Kosta Browne the necessary resources to grow. Chris was able to craft a business plan that conveyed the appeal of the Kosta Browne story and sensibly described its future, helping to convince many wary family members and friends that investing in the vision would be worth it.

Today, Dan, Michael and Chris work very closely to maintain the quality and consistency of the entire Kosta Browne experience.

The Team

Chris Costello
Founder

Chris grew up in Sonoma County and graduated from UCLA in 1997 with a degree in Economics. After graduating, he began working with his father, Jim, in the commercial real estate management and development business. He and his brother, Casey, subsequently formed a partnership to grow that business by acquiring, developing and managing select properties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 2001, Michael and Dan, with 150 cases of 2000 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in barrel, went looking for additional resources that would enable them to grow the business as they originally envisioned. In their search, they happened to meet Chris and his family through a mutual friend. Chris became intrigued by their story as well as their vision and passion to create a business that focused on producing world-class Pinot Noir. And, so, a new partnership was born. As a casual consumer of wine, Chris contributed a fresh point of view to Kosta Browne's business model and, with the support of his father (whose expertise and existing business relationships proved invaluable), helped to gather from family and friends the necessary monetary resources that were needed to grow the business.

Chris’ role has evolved over the years to include a good portion of business management. He has been primarily responsible for figuring out solutions to meet the extraordinary demand for Kosta Browne wines. His role has entailed giving perspective on strategic growth decisions and marketing tactics as well as ensuring Kosta Browne’s financial and organizational stability. As a part of that role, Chris tackled the task of designing and implementing Kosta Browne’s mailing list business – a model that would allow Kosta Browne to establish direct connections with its customers and to ensure its chances of sustainable success. In 2009, he took the lead in consummating the relationship with Kosta Browne’s new partner, Vincraft.

Chris continues to share his time between the family business and Kosta Browne. When he’s not busy with the demands of work and the rigor of the ultra premium Pinot Noir producing winery, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife Cheri, and son Haven. He also enjoys the outdoors, traveling, playing golf and sand volleyball.

Dan Kosta
Founder

Dan Kosta is a native of Sonoma County where wine became an integral part of his life at the age of 5, learning about the enjoyment of wine from his father. At home, wine was served at nearly every dinner and discussion of wine always accompanied the pour. At his dad's wine shop in Santa Rosa, Dan learned about labels, varietals and style. Later, Dan followed his passion for food and worked for more than 15 years in fine dining, with the majority of his experience gained at John Ash & Co. in Santa Rosa, California. He worked every position imaginable at the restaurant, finally landing as the Operations Manager and Wine Director.

Dan has consulted for restaurants in the Sonoma County area and sits on the Board of Directors for the Sonoma County Vintners Association, and along with his wife Allison, the Make-a-Wish foundation. He continues to participate in numerous judgings such as the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, West Coast Wine Competition, Grand Harvest Awards and the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Dan spends a majority of his time traveling the country attending charitable events where the brand partners with many organizations. “I love how wine and food bring people together and feel very fortunate where we can play a role in helping many worthy causes”, says Dan.

When not behind the scenes of a working winery or on the road, Dan enjoys spending time with his wife, Allison and three young children, Mazie, Maggie, and Sean.

David Hejl
General Manager

David’s passion for fine wine began while putting himself through school working as a waiter, sommelier and chef, but took it to a whole new level while living in Paris, France for Nabisco. It was there that he experienced first hand the art of wine, food and culture in a way that was spiritual, all in the beautiful City of Light. David has always had his eye on the wine industry and a strong desire to leverage his expertise to further an aspiring wine brand.

David has been a student of fine wine and food his whole life, and from his perspective, has been training for this role for three decades. Over the years, having traveled around the world 50 times and visiting every major wine region in the world, the adventure was never complete without discovering and enjoying the local food, wines and terroir.

David has long been a strong supporter of Kosta Browne, a dear friend and mentor to founder, Michael Browne, and was approached by the three founding partners, including Dan Kosta and Chris Costello, to join the organization during the 2011 harvest. “I am excited and honored to bring my passion and pursuit of exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to the great team at Kosta Browne.”

Prior to joining Kosta Browne, David accumulated over 30 years experience in growth-oriented strategy execution within the food and consumer products industry and held executive positions with Nabisco, Berkshire Hathaway, Gourmet Award Foods, Ruiz Food Products, and most recently President & CEO of CPI International. In addition, he has 15 years of private equity investment experience and currently sits on various Boards of Directors.

David received his BS in Accounting and Finance from the University of Nebraska, is a CPA, and holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. David is also a noted speaker and has been on the Marketing and Finance faculties of University of San Francisco McLaren School of Management, Marquette University and University of St. Thomas.

David and his wife Allison have lived in Sonoma County for fifteen years and reside in Bennett Valley with their two boys, Andrew and Zachary. David enjoys BBQ, surfing, skiing, winemaking and wine collecting, spending time with family and friends, and learning French.

Jeremiah Timm
Assistant Winemaker

Jeremiah joined the Kosta Browne team in July of 2010.

After a trip with his aunt to the great winemaking regions of France in his teen years, he came back to the U.S. with a keen interest in the finer points of viticulture and winemaking. He soon landed a job with Wollersheim Vineyards in his home state of Wisconsin where he spent 8 years learning the business from the ground up. It was at this winery that he would learn everything from planting and managing vines, to processing grapes during harvest, to performing basic lab work.

Turning the wine industry into a career was the next logical step for Jeremiah, and he decided to move to Fresno, California where he enrolled in their Enology Department. Upon graduating, he landed an intern position at Kosta Browne for the 2008 crush. He departed after harvest at Kosta Browne to manage the lab for a Russian River Valley winery, where he remained for 2 years, working with the lab requests of custom crush clients as well as managing the lab work for the main label.

He was very excited to be invited back into the Kosta Browne crew, and works tirelessly in the winery and laboratory to ensure that the finest quality control measures continue to uphold the exacting standards for Kosta Browne.

Nico Cueva
Assistant Winemaker

Nico’s passion for viticulture and winemaking began as a child when his family would take road trips to Mendocino to visit family. He loved watching the sprawling Anderson Valley Vineyards through the windows of the family white Dodge Caravan. On one of these vacations, Nico visited a local winery with his parents and became captivated with the signature aromas of a barrel room, oak barrels and fermenting wine.

While a Student at UCLA, Nico’s first experience with fine wines began when he purchased a bottle of Far Niente Chardonnay to impress a girl. “I bought it because it was expensive and I thought the label looked like a late 60’s Fillmore Poster- maybe Janis, also not to mention a certain girl had something to do with the purchase”, Nico shares. During his stint at UCLA, Nico acquired a double major in Environmental Science and Geography with an emphasis in geology and soon left to live, work and pursue his other passion, surfing, on the Galapagos Islands.

Upon Nico’s return to the USA, he took a job selling fine wine at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, California, where he remembers imbibing in his first wine by Angelo Gaja. After two months of selling wine, Nico decided that he should be making wine instead, securing a position working with Peter Work in the winery and vineyards of Ampelos Cellars in the Santa Rita Hills.

Nico’s desires to work with the vines lead him to procure a position at Coastal Vineyard Care Associates, where he was mentored by famed viticulturist Jeff Newton. It was with Coastal Vineyard Care Associates that he learned to appreciate how labor intensive it is to produce the fruit for fine wine. After a year with the vineyards, Nico began working in the cellar gain for Craig Jaffurs of Jaffurs Wine Cellars in downtown Santa Barbara. It was working under Jaffurs that Nico honed his skill set crafting fine Rhone Varieties.

In June of 2009 Nico joined the Kosta Browne team to work a vintage. After his first vintage with Kosta Browne, Nico took the opportunity to work a vintage in Perth, Australia with a premium wine producer Moss Wood, located in Margaret River wine region in Western Australia. At Moss Wood, Nico worked in a full time position both in the Vineyards in the Cellar. His constant aspiration for travel and exploration winemaking led him to South Africa, where he began work for the esteemed American Winemaker Zelma Long. She gave him a vintage position at her Vilafonté project Stellenbosch, South Africa.

After two years abroad, Nico came back to California, the Russian River Valley, and Kosta Browne. Nico unique skills and compelling passion for fine wines make him an invaluable part of our team at Kosta Browne.

Julien Howsepian
Cellarmaster

Julien was born on the sunny shores of Lake Tahoe and grew up in the greater San Francisco Bay Area to two European parents; one French, one Dutch. Wine was always a fixture in Julien’s family growing up, but he did not realize just how engrained wine would become in his life until pursuing a Viticulture and Enology degree at the University of California, Davis. As with many 18 year old high school graduates, Julien hadn’t a clue what direction to take with his young life, but remembered his love of wine and steered down the path towards a Viticulture & Enology degree from University of California, Davis under his belt.

Julien’s love for the outdoors kept him in Tahoe for a number of years always telling friends this was his last season in Tahoe before he’d leave the Budweiser, sunny slopes and big blue for wine, cheese, and a wine country lifestyle. Finally in 2011, he left his cozy comforts behind for the greater good and kick started his wine career in the cellar at Trinchero Napa Valley, followed by a rainy harvest in New Zealand 2012. Back to Tahoe for one last dip in the lake for the summer of 2012 working at Sunnyside Marina, preceded his coming to Kosta Browne Winery to work the 2012 fall harvest. He was pleasantly surprised that all the rumors of Sonoma County were true; laid back, humble people with excellent wine to show for it.

Upon meeting the staff at KB for the first time, Julien knew he had finally found a place he could call home, and has never looked back. Julien still enjoys the winter sports and summer recreation of Lake Tahoe and the occasional club rugby match, while in his pursuit of becoming a very well rounded, thorough and meticulous wine maker. We are truly fortunate to have Julien as part of our KB family.

Tony Lombardi
Director of Brand Management & Public Relations

Tony grew up in Sonoma County and began his career in the wine industry in 1998 when he joined the hospitality team at Clos du Bois Winery. This is where he shared his passion and enthusiasm for all things food and wine with consumers, trade partners and media that would come to visit the Geyserville winery.

In 2001, Tony joined the public relations team at Allied Domecq Wines. Here is where his career in public relations began, overseeing 12 international and domestic wineries with responsibilities in brand positioning, winery message development, media relations, event management and strategic planning.

A series of mergers and acquisitions followed, where Allied Domecq was purchased by Fortune Brands and he assumed the role of Public Relations Manager with the new company, Beam Wine Estates, managing the PR efforts for seven prestige brands within the portfolio. After the purchase of Beam Wine Estates by Constellation Wines U.S.in 2007, Tony spent a short time working with J Vineyards & Winery in the role of Marketing and Public Relations Manager. In June 2008, he assisted in the launch of Healdsburg start-up company, Ascentia Wine Estates as Director of Public Relations spearheading efforts for its five California and three Pacific Northwest brands.

Tony joined the team at Kosta Browne Winery in August 2010 in his current role and is tasked with helping the team maintain the quality and consistency of the entire Kosta Browne experience for its consumer and trade audience.

When he’s not busy with the demands of the ultra premium Pinot Noir producing winery, Tony enjoys spending time with his wife, Christine and sons, Andrew and Aidan.

Kristina Amato
Direct to Consumer & Business Analytics Manager

Kristina grew up partially in Japan and Los Angeles. She attended Azusa Pacific University majoring in Computer Science. After spending nearly 4 years working for Caltech’s technology department she moved to San Francisco in 2004, where she landed a consulting job with a technology company that specialized in business intelligence solutions. The company was later acquired by Hewlett Packard. Kristina spent most of her career in technology working for health care companies, such as Genentech and Abbott Vascular.

Kristina later followed her passion for the wine industry and joined Treasury Wine Estates in 2011 supporting their Direct to Consumer business. She implemented many processes and systems including a full CRM and Marketing automation system using Salesforce.com and Eloqua. Kristina joined Kosta Browne in April of 2013 as Manager of Direct to Consumer and Business Analytics and has been a welcome addition to our Kosta Browne team. Her exceptional technical, analytic and strategic skills have become a critical asset to the team. From providing insights around CRM and business intelligence to spearheading new processes and technology; she’s an essential part of our growing Kosta Browne family!

Joyelle Finn
VIP & Events Manager

Born in Lake Tahoe, CA, Joy grew up in Northern California and moved to Sonoma County in 2001 to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Sonoma State University. After graduating from Sonoma State in 2005, she attended Bauman College in Penngrove CA, where she followed one of her many passions, the culinary arts. At Bauman, she honed her nutritional and therapeutic cooking skills and became a certified Natural Chef.

In 2005, she landed with La Crema Winery as a tasting room associate, quickly being promoted to a position as a Direct Sales and Hospitality Coordinator. In 2007, she joined the American Heart Association North Bay office, coordinating their local fundraising efforts and producing charitable events, in addition to raising awareness and much needed funds in their mission to reduce heart disease. Joyelle’s drive to marry wine, food and events would soon lead her in a pursuit of a career in the wine industry.

A Vintage Wine Estates opportunity to join their growing team came in 2009 and Joy accepted a role as a wine club coordinator, managing fulfillment of Napa Valley & Sonoma County wines, as well as international and personalized wine accessories.

Joy began as support for our sales and marketing department in the Spring of 2012 and her impact has been significant. Her exceptional personal skills, as well as her attention to detail greatly support our sales, marketing and hospitality. From providing exceptional customer service, to helping coordinate successful events, she’s an essential part of our growing Kosta Browne family!

Amy Dixon
Direct To Consumer Sales Coordinator

Amy joined our customer service team in 2007 and has become a fundamental part of our Kosta Browne sales team.

Prior to jumping into the world of wine, Amy has had the wonderful experience of living in different states, growing up in Kansas, moving to Idaho, then college in Minnesota, earning a Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis in Interior Design and Art. How quickly that focus changed! Amy developed an interest in wine when she was an exchange student in Belgium, living with 3 different host families, all of whom enjoyed fine wine and educating their American ‘host daughter’. She moved to Seattle, Washington where she worked as a tour director for Holland America Line Westours. Her sense of humor and ready smile endeared her to all and she thoroughly enjoyed travelling as a job!

She met her husband Gordon while working at a worldwide shipping company, then moved to Walla Walla, Washington so that he could attend their new Viticulture and Enology Institute. Upon graduation, they moved to Santa Rosa, California and were immediately surrounded by the incredible wines of Sonoma County.

As you can imagine, working with Dan Kosta, Michael Browne and Chris Costello for seven years has been a crazy, but great ride. She now effectively manages the winery’s biannual releases and continues to cultivate close relationships with our list members. When not at work, she enjoys many culinary adventures with her winemaking husband. Amy is our rock and we are truly fortunate to have her on our fun and dedicated team!

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Hours

We are not open to the public.

Address

P.O. Box 1555
Sebastopol, California 95473
United States

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