In 2016 the Brown family secured a small piece of land on Vineyard Drive, which is on the westside of the Paso Robles winegrowing appellation. Brian and Natalie Brown moved in, and began rehabbing the forty year orchard right next to their 1970's ranch house. A year and a half later, Brian's parents, Dennis and Candice Brown, acquired an adjoining fifteen acres on Willow Creek Road, and SōNA was born.
Over the years the family has rehabbed the orchards, planted vineyards, and are currently building their future winery on site.
The farm is located thirty miles north of San Luis Obispo, west of Paso Robles and Templeton. It sits on Vineyard Drive in the Willow Creek District. Eventually the Browns settled on its name: SōNA.
SōNA is an old Irish word which translates to "fortune through luck." The serendipitous series of events which lead Brian, his wife, and his parents to Paso Robles are a representation of SōNA.
In 2017, four acres of vineyard were planted to Syrah and Petite Sirah. These Rhône varietals grow well on the west side of Paso Robles, but the selections of vines are very unique. The cuttings came from the Library vineyard in St Helena, farmed by Turley Wine Cellars. The Library vineyard was originally planted in the 1800's by immigrant farmers coming to California in search of gold. Since these vines contain some of the oldest clonal material in California, they are arguably the most adapted to our terroir.
In 2019, an additional six acres of vineyard were planted to multiple clonal selections sourced directly from UC Davis. Some of these cuttings were selections that, like SōNA's initial planting, have existed in California for generations but were not available through commercial nurseries. Other cuttings planted were so rare that some of them have never been planted in California outside of the University system.
Aside from grapes, the Browns produce other agricultural goods as well. Dennis, Brian's father, developed an interest for American heritage cider apples, and over 70 trees were planted just above the winery. Additionally, Natalie and Brian rehabilitate their heirloom orchard by practicing permaculture. They organically farm market garden produce in between the orchard rows. Depending on the season, they may be getting ready to harvest purple broccoli, mizuna, cut flowers, purple bok choy, fava beans, heirloom melons, or pink celery. But come summer time, all of their orchard efforts are spent harvesting and preserving the abundant apricots, peaches, plums, apples, nectarines, and more that the orchard provides.
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