One of our F&W American wine award winners works with ancient vines other producers ignore; another is an amazing comeback by a star winemaker on the edge of burnout. All told, the five wineries here are the most thrilling new producers in America. Here, their vision and their best bottles.

By Ray Isle
Updated March 31, 2015

Courtesy of Alysian

Wine Awards Winner:


When Gary Farrell sold his first winery back in 2004, he'd had it. He'd been working 60 to 80 hours a week, spending more time on management than winemaking. He was exhausted. The problem is that Farrell can't seem to shake his love of Pinot Noir.Read more about Alysian

Bedrock Wine Co.

Courtesy of Bedrock Wine Company

Wine Awards Winner:

Bedrock Wine Co.

It's tough making a name for yourself in the shadow of a famous father. It's tougher if you choose the same profession, in the same county. But that's what Morgan Twain-Peterson—the son of Sonoma Ravenswood Winery founder and winemaker Joel Peterson—is doing.Read more about Bedrock Wine Co.


© Mark Wilson

Wine Awards Winner:


Lioco owns no vineyards. It produces wine from a rented space in a custom-crush facility. Its owners didn't grow up in winemaking families. But the results are very impressive.Read more about Lioco


Kirk Burpee of Ideas to Images Productions

Wine Awards Winner:

Milbrandt Vineyards

The wines of Washington's Milbrandt Vineyards prove that you don't have to bottle a $200 luxury cuvée to make a great debut. Butch and Jerry Milbrandt (with winemaker Josh Maloney) produce a wide range of wines.Read more about Milbrandt Vineyards


Courtesy of Morlet Vineyards

Wine Awards Winner:

Morlet Family Vineyards

It's possible to be one of Napa's most vaunted winemakers and still not be satisfied. Luc Morlet, the scion of a French winemaking family, produced critically acclaimed wines for Peter Michael Winery and other properties. But, he says, "Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to start my own winery—it's part of my DNA."Read more about Morlet Family Vineyards


Video: California Wines

More Wine Coverage:

Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic, Chiles and Anchovies. Photo © John Kernick
Credit: © John Kernick
American Wine Awards 2009
California Wine Guide