A bottle slips out of the cool, still cellar into the warm light of a boisterous world,
And the first sound is a rustling in the drawer for the corkscrew.
Then, metal on glass, slicing the foil and inserting the firm, coiled wire into cork.
Each creaky twist building to a—pop—of air and sound colliding,
and the subjectively delicious sound of that very first pour:
Classic rock, modern soul, country, acid rock, heavy metal—infinite possibilities…
Wine is a full sensory experience—tactile, aromatic, visual—with complex flavors you can taste and savor. But rarely is “sound” associated with drinking wine—except at Kosta Browne.
Music sets the tone for the day.
Inspired by the spirit of music in our cellar, we came up with the idea of enriching the sensory tasting experience by bringing the “sound of wine” to life. For each wine in this release, we commissioned a talented team of musicians to write a custom soundtrack based on our winemaker Julien’s imaginative way of describing our wines through the lens of music.
Music has always been a big part of the heart and soul that goes into making our wines—forming a soundtrack that is part of the mosaic that drives our journey forward.
Our One-Sixteen Chardonnay feels like indie rock – strings, rhythm, and a solid beat…it’s got style!” JULIEN HOWSEPIAN, WINEMAKER
ONE-SIXTEEN, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, CHARDONNAY
Gorgeous mélange of quince, green apple, pear, and persimmon balanced by undertones of toast and delicate oak.
Pure varietal characteristics with a balanced richness and bright acidity.
You want to hear some instruments? Check the bass tone on this. I’ll do the music thing. I try to make sense to people. It’s an experience.” Pinot Rocks, Michael Browne, KB Co-Founder
Sound of the Past
Browne didn’t learn to make wine in the classroom. Entirely self-taught, he learned by taking risks, by paying attention to his vineyards, and by listening to the wine. If the wine needed more bass, he’d find it in better tannin management. If it needed more treble, he’d pick sooner for higher acidity. But the fruit component? That was always the lead singer. And all the other components of the wine must always come together to support the singer of the band.
A decade ago if you walked into the cellar at KB you’d likely hear Johnny Cash blasting to fermenting barrels. If something got messed up, Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” was played on full volume, on repeat, the entire day. We don’t need to tell you what happens to a great song if you listen to it too many times. Thankfully, there’s no correlation to great wine, which can drink over, and over, and over…
Russian River tastes like how a great pop song sounds – it is dynamic, it’s fresh, it’s upbeat and yet classic all at the same time.” JULIEN HOWSEPIAN, WINEMAKER
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
Expressive red apple, raspberry, and pomegranate aromas excite alongside soft notes of lavender and spice.
Lively texture, with a medium body and refined finish. Pristine.
Sound of the Present
Wine is the delicious song that we sing for ourselves and for all.
Every person who works at KB, from the GM to the interns has access to the sound system and playlist at the winery. So, is that acid rock or conscious hip-hop playing to a group of midwestern women donning ten-gallon hats? It is. Just as bluegrass gospel is blasting to the metropolitan city slickers sitting in The Gallery overlooking the cellar. It shows the convivial and community spirit of everyone involved.
There is something very inherently cool about Sta. Rita Hills – musically it reminds me of thumping piano set to a funky hip-hop beat.” JULIEN HOWSEPIAN, WINEMAKER
Bandmates and Misfits
When Tina Turner is reverberating around the entire space, we know that our assistant winemaker, Peter, is in charge of the playlist that day. Each person brings their own musical sentiment and personality to the room—and the respect for each other’s musical appetites is palpable. On any given day, it’s any given genre. Today it’s the Misfits, tomorrow it’s classic rock, another day it’s Tina Turner, and the day after it’s Vivaldi.
So many members of our KB team are musicians and play instruments, like Spanish guitar and piano. Some are singers. Some are drummers. Some simply walk to the beat of their own drum, but they don’t walk alone—they share their beat, and we all walk, in time, in step, together.
I’m in the band. I can’t wear the band t-shirt!”
Once, just before dinner in New York, we noticed that our winemaker was wearing the shirt of another band (in this case, another winery). “You can’t wear that to this dinner!” We told him. “But…I’m in the KB band, I can’t wear our band t-shirt!” He was right. Had Paul McCartney ever worn a Beatles t-shirt on stage?
STA. RITA HILLS
Intense aromas of cranberry, pomegranate, and Rainer cherry. Underlying notes of cinnamon, lemon- thyme, and sarsaparilla.
Powerful, with a rush of intense fruit, balanced by the complex texture. Polished, with well-integrated oak and a focused structure.
Sound of the Space
“This is AC. That’s DC.”
After a visit to KB, Cliff Williams, then the bassist of AC/DC, sent Michael Browne a signed guitar. The natural thing to do was to name two custom concrete fermenters after the band. That’s how one ten-ton fermenter became “AC” and the other became “DC.”
Strikingly wild and exotic, with ample notes of pomegranate, black cherry, and blueberries
Classic Anderson Valley rusticity with a generous mouthfeel, supple tannins, vibrant acidity, and long finish.
Anderson Valley is like a cross between bluegrass and classic rock – it feels like guitar and harmonica all wrapped up in a great song.” JULIEN HOWSEPIAN, WINEMAKER
Sound of the Future
“This is New Orleans Jazz at two in the morning at a hole in the wall.”
Today, Julien may not describe the bass or the treble of wine as much, but his profoundly deep knowledge and passion for music mean KB wines get placed in more experiential and contextual landscapes. Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison is Sonoma Coast. He’s with Tom Petty among the wildflowers in Anderson Valley. Neil Young is pulling him up the rugged terrain of Cerise Vineyard. And Cerise is a newer wine for a newer generation of KB lovers—it tastes and sounds different than the Johnny Cash era. But that’s the song of life, isn’t it?
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
Vibrant raspberry and blackberry core, with hints of citrus. Classic Santa Lucia Highlands.
Electrifying mouthfeel with exciting tension. Plush, with refined tannins and a refreshing cohesive palate.
This wine reminds me of great New Orleans jazz – piano, big stand-up bass, and trumpet. When it is 2:00 am in the morning, and you come across a dark hole in the wall to reveal the best jazz performance you have seen.” JULIEN HOWSEPIAN, WINEMAKER
The sounds of wine are a lot like the sounds of life, always evolving with each new vintage, something new always coming together, but no matter what—it makes you twist and shout. And we know those strawberry fields aren’t always forever, but here comes the sun after a hard day’s night, and hey you, you there, across the universe—
Cue the music.
There is a heartfelt and powerful feeling to the Sonoma Coast that reminds me of country and blues music – classic guitar and a memorable melody brings me back year after year.” JULIEN HOWSEPIAN, WINEMAKER
Enticing aromas of fresh blackberries, elderberry, and lilacs envelop the senses, while delicate notes of baking spice and vanilla integrate seamlessly.
Ripe blue fruit complements the precise balance of structure, layered acidity, and long, powerful finish.