Byron Vineyard and Winery was founded in 1984 by Winemaker and General Manager Byron "Ken" Brown. With many year's experience as a winemaker in Santa Barbara County, Ken recognized the region's potential for great wines in the Burgundian style, and was also the first winemaker to introduce Rhone-style grape varieties to the area. The first crush at Byron Vineyard & Winery produced 7,600 cases, and Byron soon gained national recognition for high-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Among Byron's 641 acres of vineyards surrounding the winery is an historic block planted in 1964 by Uriel Nielson, a U.C. Davis student of viticulture. Once thought to be too cold for the production of premium wine grapes, Nielsen went on to prove the theory wrong.

In 1990, Byron was purchased by the Robert Mondavi family, and Ken Brown became the Winemaker and General Manager. He and Robert Mondavi's son Tim set about designing the new Byron Winery as an expression of their belief in natural farming, experimental viticulture and gentle grape handling. They wanted to eliminate pumping, which shears grape stems, skin and seeds, allows tannins and other harsh elements into the juice and can make wine bitter. With the aid of noted architect R. Scott Johnson, who designed the Opus One winery in Napa Valley (a joint-venture between the families of Robert Mondavi and Baroness Philippine de Rothschild) they designed a multi-level winery that replaces pumping with gravity flow, resulting in more complex, dynamic wines. The result is wine with a remarkably smoother, more pleasant mouth-feel.

In addition, Byron's vineyards were expanded and replanted as Ken Brown experimented with trellising systems, new rootstocks and clones, row orientation, and planting density in his quest for the perfect grape.

Byron Vineyard and Winery / 5230 Tepusquet Canyon Road / Santa Maria CA 93454 / 805-937-7288

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