History

B.R. Cohn Winery is located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. This small family operated winery is surrounded by the 90-acre Olive Hill Estate Vineyards, where soils warmed by underground natural hot springs and gentle ocean breezes create a unique microclimate resulting in ideal growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon. B.R. Cohn also produces Chardonnay from the Carneros Region and Merlot from Sonoma Valley.

A Sonoma County native since early boyhood, Bruce’s extensive agricultural background served him well as he became immersed in all aspects of wine growing at Olive Hill Estate Vineyards.

In 1974, Bruce began selling his grapes to August Sebastiani, who taught him the finer points of negotiating grape contracts. A year later, Bruce befriended the venerable Charlie Wagner of now-famous Caymus Vineyards. After making wine from his grapes in 1978, Wagner encouraged Bruce to ask for vineyard designates from other wineries that were purchasing his grapes. Both Ravenswood and Gundlach-Bundschu agreed to make Olive Hill designations and immediately won awards with them. In fact, the 1980 Gundlach-Bundschu Olive Hill Cabernet received the great honor of being selected by the White House as a gift to China, representing a stellar example of a California red wine.

It was a career-defining moment. After Bruce purchased Olive Hill Estate Vineyards, he started making wine under his own label and B.R. Cohn Winery was founded in 1984. Budding winemaker Helen Turley was a member of the inaugural B.R. Cohn team, and wowed the wine world with stellar releases of B.R. Cohn’s first four vintages. B.R. Cohn Winery was firmly established with wine critics and public perception.

Merry Edwards and Steve MacRostie continued the B.R. Cohn tradition through the 1990’s, until winemaker Bill Parker, a revered industry veteran, worked with Bruce for four years, crafting wines with an eye toward the legacy of buyers’ confidence in the consistent quality. In 2004, Tom Montgomery joined Bruce as the winemaker. Tom is in charge of day-to-day winemaking operations in raising the bar of excellence at B.R. Cohn Winery.

In 1990, Bruce began producing gourmet olive oil and hand crafted vinegars, the first made in Sonoma Valley in almost a century. Now our high quality B.R. Cohn Olive Oil has become one of the top producers of ultra-premium extra virgin olive oil in California.

B.R. Cohn Winery plays host to a variety of events throughout the year. Each fall, wine lovers and music fans alike flock to the B.R. Cohn Winery Fall Music Festival and Golf Tournament, with proceeds benefiting the Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation and other youth charity organizations. B.R. Cohn also hosts wine country weddings, corporate events and well as VIP Tour & Tastings and will soon be home to a culinary center. Guest chefs will give cooking classes and demonstrations to food-loving B.R. Cohn fans, integrating B.R. Cohn olive oils and vinegars into food preparations, as well as pairing meals with B.R. Cohn wines.

Bruce Cohn is happy that wine enthusiasts travel from around the world to seek out the vineyard, the wines and the atmosphere. Since founding the winery, Bruce’s focus has been to create wines that emphasize balance, elegance and consistent high quality from vintage to vintage.

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