Robert Brittan left Stags’ Leap Winery in Napa after 16 years as Winemaker and Estate Manager to fulfill his dream of making Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from unique sites in cooler climates. His winemaking career began in his dorm room at Oregon State University, where he was a physics and philosophy major. After leaving OSU he spent three years working in a large winemaking facility in the Central Valley, where he realized that this was something he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He then completed a degree in Enology at UC Davis and moved to Napa Valley, where he made wines for Far Niente, Saint Andrews and Stags’ Leap Winery.
Over the years Robert developed a passion for cool climate Pinot noir, and in 2004 he and his wife Ellen purchased a 128 acre estate in the foothills of the Coast Range in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. With almost 50 years of experience growing grapes and making wine, Robert brings a significant amount of viticultural and winemaking knowledge to this estate project, and believes that he has brought a new voice to the McMinnville AVA, helping define the style and definition of Pinot Noir from this unique winegrowing region. Along with six different expressions of Pinot noir, Robert also makes an Estate Chardonnay and Estate Syrah from this site.
In addition to his own wines, Robert is the consulting winemaker for several other brands, including: deLancellotti Family Vineyard, Fairsing Vineyard and Winderlea Winery and Vineyard. As a result of these collaborations, Robert is now making wines from six of the Willamette Valley’s nested AVAs, and has learned first hand that Pinot Noir lends itself to many wonderful interpretations, depending on the soils and microclimates where it is grown, and the intention of each vineyard owner.
Here's the wine lineup from Brittan Vineyards this week:
2018 Chardonnay, McMinnville OR
2018 Pinot Noir, McMinnville OR
2017 'Cygnus' Pinot Noir, McMinnville
2016 Syrah, McMinnville OR