Our story begins in the early 1950’s when Arden lived on a farm in Northern California near the small town of Kelseyville. There were prunes and pears mostly but in 1961 Arden’s father purchased a vineyard from his aunt. Not just any vineyard, an ancient Zinfandel vineyard on a raised lake bed with vines so old that the historical record ends in the mid 1880’s. They were mature and producing then, so there’s no knowing when they were actually planted.
The fruit is still wonderfully sweet, the soil is just as rich and the breeze just as refreshing, especially on the top of a slight knoll where the really old vines live. You will see only head pruned vines, a few too many weeds and many skips where some of the old souls have finally given up, but the vineyard still remains.
In the spring of 2008 Brian packed all his belongings in a U-Haul and moved to Calistoga leaving Orange County behind. Brian started working in the cellar at Terra Valentine. While there, Brian worked alongside some of the most respected names in the Valley, all known for their ultra-premium boutique wines. From this exposure to different philosophies, styles and techniques, and their impact on the wine, Brian developed a keen sense of what he wanted his wine to be, and a clear direction on how to get there.
This property sits along the Silverado Trail corridor into beautiful Calistoga at the foot of the Palisade Mountains. With a clean slate of 2.25 acres to build their dream, the parcel was purchased and Brian and Arden set in to make that dream a reality. Four years later, in 2014, the winery was ready for its first harvest in the new building with state-of-the-art equipment. In May of 2015 the hospitality center was opened and the pouring began with the opening of a 2008 Cabernet Franc.
With a small team of highly educated wine lovers, three dogs and two winemakers on hand, Brian Arden Winery runs as small family business producing less than 2500 cases a year.