American Wine Awards 2008: Best New Winery
Raised in Sonoma, Doug Stewart always knew he wanted to farm. He made a few detours—including writing a book about farmers in the Amazon—before returning home to launch Breggo Cellars. Today he makes subtle, powerful wines in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, one of California’s most exciting Pinot Noir regions. In 2000, Stewart acquired 200 acres of prospective vineyard in Anderson Valley for effectively no money down (“I kept redrawing the boundaries to include all the good stuff”). Instead of waiting for the land to produce grapes, he signed contracts with top growers like Ferrington, Savoy and Alder Springs and worked with consulting winemaker Ryan Hodgins. The result is an annual 3,500 cases of Pinot Noir and aromatic whites like Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer that have a remarkable cooler-climate gracefulness. Now, finally, comes the farming part: Stewart planted his first vines this summer.