Vintner Profiles is a post series that puts a spotlight on one of our East Bay Vintner Alliance winemaker members.
For this Q & A we spoke with Barbara Brown, VP & Assistant Winemaker
Like the key change in the songs Barbara and Kevin perform as musicians, a sweet shift is happening soon for R & B Cellars. Founded in 1997 and always having produced wines in the East Bay, R & B Cellars will be moving from Alameda to the Rigger’s Loft in Point Richmond at the end of July.
The new R & B Cellars at Rigger’s Loft
The renovated space is part of the historic Kaiser Shipyard where the Liberty and Victory ships were built during World War II. The new R&B Cellars at Rigger’s Loft will feature a tasting room but also a tasting dock, enabling visitors to take in 270° views of the Bay –from Marin and San Francisco to Oakland and El Cerrito. While soaking in the vista visitors can nibble on a paired lunch menu or sample wares from nearby gourmet food trucks. Of course all this comes with what Barbara and Kevin consider to be the other perfect pairing to good wine: really cool music.
Now in its 10th iteration, this red is the result of Barbara and Ken’s passions and stimulus of the moment. It is a delicious blend of Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Barbera, Cabernet, petite Sirah and Merlot, with these fruits sourced from Napa Valley, Contra Costa, and Lake County. Most recently it has collected awards including Double Gold Medal, 98 Points, “Best of Class” – 2012 CA State Fair Wine Competition.
About R & B Cellars
Kevin and Barbara Brown are the owners and winemakers. They are both jazz musicians, performing at winery events, charitable events, winemaker dinners and wine tastings across the country and around the world. The musical wine labels and the fun, jazzy names, create the natural blend of passion for the jazz they love to perform. Their motto is “Wine That Swings!” And so it does.
At R&B Cellars, they believe that winemaking is as influential and powerful as music. It should be inspiring, full of passion, and have the ability to bring people together to celebrate life, happiness, and community. As lifetime musicians, Kevin and Barbara understand that like music, wine is something you create to be shared with the rest of the world and enjoyed by others, which is why they offer several different varietals and price points for different styles, tastes, and personalities.
Kevin Brown is the winemaker for R&B Cellars and a 30+-year veteran of the wine industry. He is a frequent educator and lecturer on winemaking in the industry. In keeping with the R&B Cellars philosophy, Kevin believes that drinking wine should be fun, and like music, is a creative pursuit.
An accomplished jazz musician hailing from Manhattan, Kevin’s love of wine brought him into the industry where he successfully grew such brands as Rosenblum Cellars, Marques de Murrietta and Codorinu. In 1990, Kevin created California Classics, a New Hampshire-based distribution and marketing firm that helped bring Rosenblum Cellars from 7,000 to 130,000 cases annually.
In 2004, seeing a niche in the marketplace for value-oriented wines of high quality, he and his wife Barbara moved from the east coast to California and expanded the breadth and scope of the winery to include several new varietals to the brand. R&B Cellars now has twelve different wines and distributes throughout the US and exports to several countries around the world.
R&B Cellars’ core mission is to create high quality wines that deliver tremendous value to the consumer. Since the first vintage of the Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet, winemaker Kevin Brown has taken a detail-oriented and labor-intensive approach to crafting the highest quality wines. Each of the winery’s varietals, having earned 90+ point scores and numerous accolades across the country, has helped to set R&B Cellars apart from the traditional players in the marketplace.
Barbara is managing partner and assistant winemaker for R&B Cellars. The husband and wife team often travel together doing winemaker dinners and wine tasting events where the two perform jazz standards together, blending their passions of wine and music. Kevin plays piano and Barbara sings.
These are exciting times for R&B. The winery’s distribution has been expanding both domestically and internationally (China, Vietnam, Africa) precipitating the move to Point Richmond.
The new R & B Cellars at Rigger’s Loft will open the end of July and is located at 1325 Canal Blvd. Richmond, CA 94804. Connect and be up on the latest news on Facebook, and Twitter: @cellars. Website: www.rbcellars.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org