Kosta Browne Winery, in Sebastopol, was founded in 1997 when Dan Kosta and Michael Browne pooled their money to buy a half ton of Pinot Noir grapes and a used grape crusher. The men had been colleagues at a Santa Rosa restaurant, but dreamt of making their own wine. In 2001 they teamed up with Chris Costello, who provided the winemaking pair with a business plan and operational support. Today the three partners still run Kosta Browne, which does not have its own vineyards but sources grapes from the Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Santa Lucia Highlands. Kosta Browne makes only Pinot Noir, and has in little more than a decade developed a strong following for its wines, which are generally single vineyard bottlings. Most Kosta Browne wines are sold through their mailing list.
Sonoma Coast AVA runs from San Pablo Bay in the south to Mendocino County in the north. It includes 7,000 vineyard acres and earned AVA status in 1987. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean means it gets double the rainfall of nearby inland appellations and the ocean gives the appellation a relatively cool climate. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir can thrive in these conditions, and there are numerous producers making critically acclaimed Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.