Bruliam Wines, besides the amazing wines that I will describe next, has a fun story. The co-owner and winemaker, Kerith Overstreet, was a surgical pathologist who married her La Jolla Country Day high school sweetheart. After having three kids, upon which the wine is named, the couple decided in 2008 that a change of career to vineyard farming and winemaking was the best for their family. The logo, reminiscent of a periodic table element, is a nod to Kerith's studies of organic chemistry in the medical field. [Kerith Overstreet, winemaker for Bruliam Wines] Kerith is highly intelligent and a female role model - not just as a successful doctor, but as a mother (who learned how to recite Good Night Moon to her children in 27 different languages), and now as a winemaker. She completed her enology courses at UC Davis, has crafted all of Bruliam’s wines since their launch, and often speaks at industry events about her unique background and her expertise in the art and science of winemaking. And if that wasn't enough, Kerith and her husband, Brian, have huge hearts and donate 100% of their Bruliam profits to charity.
But Bruliam also makes amazing wine. Their focus is ultra-premium, single vineyard wines, where they source fruit from California’s finest vineyards, selecting only low-yield, hand harvested, and hand sorted grapes that fully express the terroir of each unique growing region. One such region is the Gap's Crown vineyard, where Bruliam is the smallest purchaser of fruit - they have 2 dedicated blocks that produces around 3 tons of grapes per year. (On a side note, Kerith also has a reputation with the vineyard management there as "Cupcake Girl," a nickname she got after using cupcakes to sweet-talk the vineyard workers into a rush harvest to beat an impending rain storm in 2011. Now she bakes them all cupcakes every harvest because, well, it's tradition!) Gap's Crown is owned by Bill Price, who seems to have a knack for investing in only premium wine businesses, so that should give you an idea just how stunning this terroir is for making wine. Another such vineyard that Kerith pursued persistently for years, until the family finally acquiesced to selling to her, is Sangiacomo. Used by many of the top labels in Sonoma and Napa counties, the Sangiacomo vineyard is also 100% Certified Sustainable through the California Sustainable Winegrower Association [2014 bruliam torrey hill vineyard pinot noir bottle artwork] . You are probably familiar with other producers from these same vineyards - Kosta Brown, Artessa, and Sojourn to name a few. So if you believe, as Kerith does, that the best wines start with having the best fruit, then Bruliam fits that bill!
Kerith uses the equipment and facility at MacPhail (another Sonoma County favorite of ours) to make her wines. You can just imagine how her medical training and enology degree makes her uniquely positioned to master the craft of winemaking. I envision her planning and analyzing the fermentation process at the molecular level. And upon tasting her wines, I know this to be true. Our personal favorites are the Pinot Noir from Gap's Crown and Sangiacomo, as they are an excellent representation of the amazing terroir. But her Rockpile Zin is something special and truly delightful. Unlike other Zins that can be powerful and spicy, Kerith makes hers more gentle and floral. You could easily drink it on its own or pair it with pasta or chicken.
These wines are by allocation-only, so you won't find them at your local grocery store. Like us, I bet many of you would love to taste this wine that also tells a story to which you can relate.