Brander "King of California Sauvignon" Turns Mud into
By FBWorld Team
a recent visit to Fred Brander Winery to celebrate the annual
and renowned Argentine BBQ, I not only enjoyed one amazing BBQ
luncheon, prepared by Fred, his son Nicholas and two devoted
friends, but learned of Fred Brander's recent efforts to turn
the January 9 Montecito tragedy into a heart warming labor of
love that would ensure hope springs forth form heartbreak in
the form of a new wine varietal.
Oak Creek flood ran right through the award winning wine makers
property in Montecito following the Thomas Fire, and when the
rain came, the water crushed down the creek bed leaving 900
tons of mud, rock and rich ash nutrient soil piled behind his
home. The disastrous mudflow that so tragically hit Montecito
gave Fred Brander, referred to as the "King of California
Sauvignon" the brainstorm idea that in the aftermath of
the flood he would take what Mother Nature threw at his community
and turn it into a future blessing at his Vineyard at 2401 N.
Refugio Road in Santa Ynez Valley.
decided to re-use the debris from the storm hoping to bring
about three major changes including clean up the area around
his neighborhood in Montecito; help the county by moving tons
of debris to an alternative site and, help his wines by enriching
the soil for wine growth. Brander is using the soil on his Cabernet
Sauvignon vines, and in late 2019 he hopes to release the wine
from these 'grapes of wrath' so to speak, with a portion of
the proceeds going back into the Montecito rebuilding effort.
Brander's winemaker Fabian Bravo seemed very enthusiastic about
the soil for these vines, and indicated a wall of rock is scheduled
to be built around the 42 acre property using the sorted out
rocks brought from Montecito that will lend to the Brander landscape.
Chef Wally, Fred Brander & son Nicholas cooking Argintine
and raised in Buenos Aires, he attended university in Argentina,
Sweeden, France and England. His family immigrated to the US,
settling in Santa Barbara in 1975. After graduation, with a
master's degree in food science from UC Davis, his father Karl
strongly supported him to buy land near the eastern end of Santa
Ynez Valley to ensure a climate and soil suited to Bordeaux
Brander Rose All Day
I was photographing the vines during my visit to the vinyard,
where the new soil is being distributed, I noticed a commemorative
plaque honoring Fred Brander's father Karl Eric Brander, who
passed away in 2010. I think it's a given that the Brander men
who came before Fred are surely in the happy vineyard in the
sky feeling very proud of the legacy he continues to give the
wine industry of California. Brander has been a leader in the
push to qualify his region as a separate viticulture area, and
his petition to the federal government was approved in 2016
when the Los Olivdos District AVA was established.
Delicious Brander Argentine BBQ
most recent of Fred Branders many recognitions was awarded in
May of 2018 when The Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation honored
Fred Brander at the Santa Barbara Wine Auction as Vintner of
the Year for his vision and dedication identifying, developing
and promoting the Santa Barbara County premier wine region.
Cabernet Sauvignon Vines
Vineyard is one of the original vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley
and the producer of world-class Sauvignon Blanc wines in a variety
of styles, as well as small quantities of hand-crafted Bordeaux-style
principal varities include Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon,
Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris, Semillon, and Syrah, with case production
of 12,000. For news on Fred's newest Montecito soil varietal
look for announcements on the website at www.brander.com.
By Bonnie Carroll
About Bonnie Carroll
Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since
1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll's
Life Bites News - www.lifebitesnews.com,
does travel and food reporting on KZSB1290 radio, and contributes
to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle
publications. Her first children's book C.C. Charles was published
in 2002 and she is currently working on a second book. Contact
her at Contact her at email@example.com.