Sebastiani's main man now making wine in California's Central Coast
- Richard Bruno is exactly what we love in a winemaker– the quiet achiever behind the scenes at some of the world's most famous wine brands. He's made wine for Francis Ford Coppola and Don Sebastiani, the latter of which was named Winery of the Year TWICE under his watch.
- During his decades making wine for famous wineries and earning them 90+ scores, he has traveled all up and down California's coastal wine regions. His experience and familiarity with the terrain allow him to sniff out the best-bang-for-buck pretty much anywhere in the state.
- Launching one's wine brand is hard and expensive, so Richard is using Angel funding – and he's able to focus on winemaking, instead of selling wine.
Richard Bruno's Story
Richard has had the opportunity to make wine for decades for several large premium wineries in California (Francis Ford Coppola, Don Sebastiani & Sons, and many more!), and that means he's been able to make wine all up and down California's coastal regions. Angels have helped him strike out on his own so he can work with the best vineyards throughout California to make amazing wines that really showcase his favorite regions and varieties.
Richard loves the unpredictability of winemaking – not knowing where he'll be or what he'll be doing before he wakes up. He enjoys working with like-minded, quality-oriented people to make unique wines. These reasons are what drew him to his previous career, too (12 years in fine dining, where every day was a new performance and a new chance to create a really special experience for people... full of unpredictable obstacles and surprises).
Winemaking has been good to Richard with some very magical moments. In 2008, he introduced his 3-year-old son to winemaking. The opportunity to pass his knowledge onto another generation is both exciting and gratifying. Hopefully he'll love quality winemaking as much as Richard does.
There are many wines in the industry that are produced solely through blending wines from the bulk market. Richard prefers to make wine from grape to bottle.
All of this is what keeps Richard going, even through the winemaking tragedies (and there sure are some!) He lost 10,500 gallons of Petite Sirah in the 2014 Napa earthquake, so that was definitely a big sorrow – a whole tank fell. And just like that, 2 years of work went down the drain.
Richard's favorite wine to make is Pinot Noir because it's a challenge – it's a delicate variety, but the irony is that one can apply heavier treatments like a lot of new oak for example, and the variety still shows its perfume throughout. He also loves making Cabernet because Both of these varieties are very expressive.
Richard's goal is making varietally correct wines that are flavorful and delicious regardless of the variety... being delicious is obviously the most important! He also uses Angel funding to make varieties he's always wanted to make, but never would because it's too risky – meaning varieties he didn't think he could sell on his own.
Richard is thankful for the opportunity to make lots of new wines and new friends! It's always nice to get feedback from Angels about wines he's always wanted to make. Together Richard and Angels make some delicious wines – and maybe they'll take over the world or the UNIVERSE!"
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