There are many ways to look at what the recognition of a winery's accomplishment means.
The bigger picture looks like this: For more than 150 years, Sonoma farmers have worked to establish a wine industry. Twice it has been wiped out, first by phylloxera, then by Prohibition. Throw in a couple of World Wars, the Great Depression and the Great Recession. Add too the tests of urban development, where cities too often swallow up farmland.
The success of a Kosta Browne, Wine Spectator's 2011 Wine of the Year, is a personal triumph for the founders and their staff. But it also validates the American Dream, the vision of farmers who, decades ago, believed in wine—not to mention Pinot Noir—and confirms for the next generation of winegrowers, wherever they may be, that this is an ambition worth pursuing. It's a livelihood beyond a lifestyle—something substantive, real. Challenging, rewarding and beneficial.
The ratings, the kudos, the happy smiles and handshakes are all in the present. The enduring message honors and reaffirms what the founding fathers of Sonoma wine perhaps envisioned. The folks at Kosta Browne will be the first to tell you they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Let the next generation, wherever they are, share in that dream and carry it to the next step forward.
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — November 19, 2011 12:28am ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — November 20, 2011 7:58pm ET
Andrew J Grotto — Washington, DC — November 22, 2011 4:59am ET
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