Introducing Brogan Cellars
When Vanessa Barrington, chef at the Jimtown Store, told me about her discovery of this tiny winery producing excellent wines here in the Dry Creek Valley, I immediately called for an appointment to learn more about their products and methods. I had also planned to pitch the services of The Wine Tout in putting the consumer in direct contact with the small maker.
Winemaker Margi Wierenga was happy to introduce me to her wines and operation, but there was a catch. And that is that there is no way to purchase even a single bottle. One hundred percent of the current production of about six hundred cases annually is allocated!
Years of hard work in all the various aspects of winecraft and business ad prepared the way for the introduction of her Brogan Cellars label in 1998. I tasted a 1999 Russian River Pinot Noir from the barrel that truly showed the thoughtful winemaking style Margi learned the old-fashioned way. She worked for years with winemaker Steven Strobel at Hop Kiln, and then for a number of years with her father, the legendary Burt Williams, at William Selyam. She patiently learned her craft and built such a following that now, just two years into business for herself, there is a long list of folks just waiting to get on the list of lucky dogs that actually get to buy the wines.
The dry irony of touting a wine that cannot be purchased for love nor money is not lost on me. And I would not be so cruel as to present this tease if there was no way to get a taste of Margi's work. She has shared her notes on the extraordinary Hog Island picnic Chardonnay as well as a list of select restaurants that feature Brogan Cellars wines. I hope you get a chance to visit one of these fine establishments soon.
Enjoy your dinners and don't forget to mention "We got the word from the Wine Tout!"