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by Fred McMillin
Well Done, Byron!
1988—Byron "Ken" Brown is making small lots of wine with a keenly developed sense of style. His debut vintage makes him a man to watch.
...Critic Bob Thompson's Cellarbook
One of those watching was Aussie author James Halliday, who five years later wrote, "At his Byron Winery, Ken Brown's Chardonnay is absolutely outstanding. The emphasis is on elegance, yet there are intense melon/grapefruit flavors, with a long, lingering finish."
...Wine Atlas of California
The Rest of the Story
1973—Inspired by frequent visits to the Napa Valley, he plants a quarter-acre vineyard at home.
1974—He's caught the bug. He enrolls in the graduate enology program at Cal State—Fresno.
1983—After doing an outstanding job as Zaca Mesa winemaker, Ken and wife Deborah set out to create the Byron Winery. Its first vintage is the one that impressed Bob Thompson (see Prologue).
1999—Ken writes me that "our 1996 Estate Chardonnay from the Byron Vineyard represents a new echelon of quality for Byron as we introduce our estate-grown, vineyard-designated program. The Byron Vineyard has been producing world-class Chardonnay for three decades. It is the vineyard planted in 1964 by Uriel Nielson." And that's our...
Wine of the Day
1996 Byron Estate Chardonnay
On Feb. 3, 1992, I pitted the Byron '89 Chard vs. the S.F. Fair's Best White of Calif. by Caymus. Byron lost by one vote!
This page created April 2000