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Wine Spectator: Kosta Browne Ventures Into Burgundy

April 5, 2022

Kosta Browne’s next chapter will include wines from Burgundy. This summer, the California Pinot Noir star will add five bottlings from France’s Burgundy region to its portfolio: 2020 Pinot Noirs from Beaune (a blend of Les Bressandes and Les Teurons), Gevrey-Chambertin, Pommard, and Volnay ($125 each), plus a Chardonnay from Meursault ($120).

“We’ve been dreaming about this for a long time,” winemaker Julien Howsepian told Wine Spectator. “We talked about making wine from Burgundy as far back as my first vintage here in 2012, but the biggest question was always how.”

It’s rare but not unheard of for U.S.-based companies to invest in Burgundy. In 1985, the négociant firm of Maison Louis Jadot was purchased by the Kopf family, owners of U.S. importer Kobrand Corporation. Also among the earliest Americans to pursue their Burgundian passions was Alex Gambal, who moved to France in 1993 and founded his wine business, Maison Alex Gambal, in 1997, eventually acquiring parcels in Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, Nuits-St.-Georges, Pommard, St.-Romain, and Volnay. (The Boisset family purchased Maison Alex Gambal in 2019.) And, since 2015, Oregon’s Domaine Serene has purchased several Burgundy operations and now owns a combined 40 acres. Other U.S. vintners, including Mark Tarlov and Ann Colgin, have also dabbled in making wines from France.

Howsepian said that over the years the Kosta Browne team has been able to develop relationships in Burgundy, which only further intensified the desire to make wines from there, and 2020 ended up being a breakthrough year in terms of finding partners and making the dream a reality. Wine Spectator has the full story.—Aaron Romano

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