“Next, I walk a couple of blocks to Brewer-Clifton, where I’m greeted by Greg Brewer, who last year was named winemaker of the year by Wine Enthusiast. The honor doesn’t seem to have gone to his head: He’s dressed casually, in a black V-neck that reveals arms tattooed with bamboo and an octopus, and as we sip a beautiful 2015 3D pinot noir in his Japanese-inspired tasting room, he describes the recognition as being for the region, not himself.”
“Greg Brewer considers the accolade of being named Wine Enthusiast magazine’s 2020 winemaker of the year ultimately to be a recognition of the Santa Rita Hills appellation in California’s Santa Barbara County where he makes highly lauded Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.”
“Growing the company from 400 acres to 4,000 and seeing the awareness of the region explode, clearly takes drive, confidence, stubbornness – and, as with any field where people are successful, the ability to take a risk.”
"Greg Brewer’s primary focus in the winery is the pursuit of refinement. He is engaged in every aspect of his work from vineyards to market, and every level of the process is given equal attention. To him, a mindful approach where strategic and efficient actions are taken to incorporate the needs of the entire ecosystem is essential. This pursuit creates a confident and calming environment, yielding a space where everyone and everything is appreciated. The goal is the synchronicity of the system. The result is wine that is honest and driven, expressive of the place and the team who collectively stewards them."
“The latest honor for winemaker Greg Brewer is a perk for Santa Barbara County, too: it’s the first time a Santa Barbara-based vintner has been named Winemaker of the Year by the popular publication, Wine Enthusiast.”
"Winemaker Greg Brewer, one of the original founders, fashioned the complex Machado 2018 (95, $80), with lithe minerality and rich savoriness to the concentrated red fruit flavors. This site-specific bottling is a prototype for the best of what the appellation has to offer."
“We don’t Photoshop or Autotune our wines,” says Brewer, whose passions beyond wine include French poetry. “It’s the imperfections that allow the beauty to show through.”
“The Pinots all offer clean, pure red-fruit expressions, tinged with freshly plucked forest herbs, while the Chards are truly unique, pairing citrus pith energy with dairy notes and nutty finishes. Brewer is also making a savory Syrah under the brand Ex Post Facto and stainless steel, tropical-leaning Chardonnays under the brand Diatom.”
“A thirst for great pinot noir has driven other growers to similarly remote areas. The most interesting areas for California pinot noir today include the Anderson Valley and points north in Mendocino County, the extreme western edges of the Sonoma coast, the craggy hillsides of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Santa Rita Hills in the western limits of the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County.”
#8 – 94 points – Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2012
“The 12-year-old Sta. Rita Hills AVA occupies that portion of the Santa Ynez Valley west of Highway 101. Home to some of Santa Barbara’s best Pinot Noir vineyards, this AVA extends nearly to the Pacific Ocean, at Lompoc.”
“Santa Barbara winemakers are taking Cali chards in crisp new directions.”