Our Winemaker - Brad Warner
Brad Warner, a native Californian, was raised on the rustic northern pacific coastline. The values instilled in him by his family included a strong work ethic and a genuine appreciation for the natural environment that surrounded him, attributes which continue to define Brad today.
In 1967 Brad moved to the Napa Valley and began his career in the wine industry as a cellar worker for Charles Krug Winery. Three years later he moved to the new Robert Mondavi winery as Cellar Foreman. During his career at Mondavi, Brad completed his formal education as well as gaining the invaluable hands on experience that informs his wine making today. Innumerable courses in winemaking and business management from Napa Valley College, UC Davis and Stanford University are a part of Brad's background. Brad also traveled to Europe with the Mondavi family to visit first growth wineries in France to study their winemaking techniques. Brad says, "Learning winemaking with Robert, Tim and Michael Mondavi was a great experience". He remained at Robert Mondavi Winery for nearly 30 years until he retired at age 52.
Brad had met Charles Sawyer in the early 1990s at a social function in Napa Valley. At that time they discussed their shared passion for the great wines produced in the area. A few years later Charles and his wife Joanne purchased their vineyards in the Rutherford appellation, and in 1995 Brad helped Charles produce 135 cases of their first red table wine. In 1999, Brad began his second career as Winemaker for the newly established Sawyer Cellars. He worked with Charles to plan and build the winery and is very proud of the facility that opened for harvest later that year.
Brad feels that it is uncommon when two people both have the same strong passion and enological values for premium, quality wine making. For Brad and Charles, it happened.