Introducing our favorite new winemakers out of Paso Robles, California – Brian Benson from Brian Benson Cellars and Bret Urness from Levo Wines. Their creativity and innovation in creating frankly delicious wines that push the boundaries of traditional blends has us excited about their future, and we want to spread the word. Space is limited to just 40 guests, so please rsvp as soon as you can, and we hope to see you there!
A little about our featured winemakers.
Brian Benson of Brian Benson Cellars had an incredibly early start at wine making. As a young child he hung out at his grandparent’s vineyard, and the later, his father’s. By 12 years old, he had made his first wine; a cabernet. At the age of 19 he became full time assistant winemaker at his father’s vineyard. Starting with just $2,000, Brian created his first commercial wines, a cabernet, and a zinfandel. In 2002, Brian lost his beloved grandfather, and a close friend. As he created his first vintage, he made his label with two angels in memoriam of his grandfather and friend. It was a momentous occasion pouring along side his father at Dark Star Cellars. Outgrowing the tasting room at Dark Star, Brian moved his operation to Denner Vineyards, a state-of-the-art gravity winery. There he began to expand his Rhone variety of wines. With a passion for wine and custom cars, Brian has been living a life he’s always dreamed of.
Learning the traditions and mastering wine was important to Bret Urness, but mostly so he could learn how to bend the rules. After receiving rejection letters from all CA University’s offering enology and viticulture, he decided to leave academia and create his own path in the wine world. Keeping it simple, he learned to bring it down to the basics, and throw in his in innovations and ideas. He started LEVO Wines using these primitive winemaking skills, he was able to throw the “overused” winemaking traditions into the wind, and create his own style. Bret is truly a pioneer in winemaking and marches to the beat of his own drum. After all, LEVO. In Latin it means, “To rise”, and he certainly has.