Winery News

Dear Friends,

The summer flew by in a lazy dream. Most days a prolonged fog hung in the air until near-midday. When the cloud cover finally burned off, it revealed a warming afternoon light. Then came cool breezes. In these last moments of summer, as the afternoon light shined over the mountains, and a cool wind blew in from the north, we could feel an effortless, calming beauty. Time stretched out before us unknown, unknowable. “The past and the future … empty as a dream.”

2016 marks the second harvest under our own roof. We have already brought in fruit from two vineyards. Our first harvest was September 1: Pinot Noir from Gremlin Vineyard in Carneros, Sonoma, just down the road from our little house in town. The second pick was just this past Monday, Labor Day, from Kim Giles Vineyard, a place stranded between Carneros and American Canyon and just above the San Pablo Bay. We are thrilled to be working with both of these vineyards for the first time. The Pinot Noir from Gremlin is already nearing the completion of fermentation on indigenous yeasts; Kim Giles’s fruit has barely begun.

But there’s more. We are also very excited to be working with two new Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in Napa Valley: Beck Vineyard, a less than one acre plot of clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon with a small planting of Merlot alongside it, and Harmony School Vineyard, a one-acre vineyard of clone 6. Both vineyards are in the foothills of the Vaca Mountains, in the Coombsville AVA. We will also be returning to Loma Blanc Vineyard for old, Wente clone Chardonnay from the Carneros, Napa appellation, and we will be bringing in Sauvignon Blanc from Alsace Vineyard in Rutherford. For the first time we will also bring in a small amount of Pinot Noir from Filigreen Farm, an organic farm just north of Boonville, CA in Anderson Valley.

In the tasting room and online, we have three new wines available: The 2015 Rosé de Saignée, a tasty and succulent dry rosé wine with a deep red rose color, the 2013 Chardonnay, and the 2013 Pinot Noir, both from Carneros, Napa Valley. Find them here. And there are many exciting changes at the winery. We initiated a new online reservation system, which has greatly streamlined the reservation process for the tasting room. We’ve incorporated more and newer wines into the selection available by the glass. We’ve added some new items to the tasting menu – including Vignette Wine Country Sodas for all the families with children visiting the winery – and we’ve added photography by Darren Ankenman and have new paintings on display from Aiden Kringen.

As always, the magic trick is to continue to be completely and effortlessly true. As a stand-alone, bonded winery in downtown Napa Valley, we are committed to working with small, sustainable farms, to non-interventionist winemaking, and handmade, artisanal wines. If you haven’t already, schedule a tasting with Sean or Juliana here.

Upcoming Events

Walk to End Alzheimer’s — There is still time to contribute to our 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s event this Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Yountville, CA. $5 from every bottle of 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon sold now through September 10, 2016 is donated to the our local Alzheimer’s Association in honor of Norma “Peachy” Crosby.  Buy that wine here. Support our team or make a donation in support of your own loved one!

Crusher Games III — Explore the Crusher Wine District and visit our industrial chic winery space in Napa Valley next September 17th, Noon – 4pm! The Crusher Wine District is a cutting-edge collective of modern, edgy and urban wineries clustered in the south district of Napa. For our third annual Crusher Games, we’ll have a selection of whimsical games to enjoy outside (think Wine Pong, Barrel Putt-Putt, Bung Bung Barrel Toss, etc.), amazing prizes, DJ spinning and, of course, we’ve lined up some great food for you enjoy. Enter the code CROSBY for a $10 discount per ticket.

A special note to members

We held off on shipping and charging members for the July shipment due to continued warm temperatures throughout the month. Members who have not already picked up their allocations will be receiving their July and September shipments in the mail within the next month. July was our “choose your allocation” month, so if you haven’t already done so, please let us know which wine from the library you’d like us to include in your shipment by writing Juliana here.

Juliana & Sean

Cooking with Crosby Roamann: Brisket & Latkes

The title “Cooking with Crosby Roamann” lends too much credence to our extremely humble kitchen work.  The recipes we like to share tend to come from cookbooks we’ve collected over the years, or friends and family. The recipe for our Chanukah latkes comes from one of our favorites, the “Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook” by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford (identical twins, like our daughters).

Neither of us remembers who bought this cookbook for us almost a decade ago when we were first married, but we both know which cookbook we’re talking about when we say, “It’s in that cookbook.” A couple of our favorites: the buttermilk pancakes with melted berries, the maple-glazed spiced carrots, the flaky piecrust, and oh yes, the latkes: page 164.

The trick to great latkes, we’ve learned, is processing the onions with the potatoes and squeezing the juice out of it all before mixing it with beaten eggs and matzoh meal. We serve them with both apple sauce and sour cream — everyone tries them both. If we’ve been especially naughty, we may also add a little dollop of caviar.

We love the recipe for Sweet and Sour Brisket from Mary and Sara as well, but nine times out of ten we go with a modified version of a recipe (we use a slow cooker) from an old friend of the family, Suzanne Bartash:

  • 2lb brisket (1st cut)
  • 2 onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 hits Tabasco
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • pepper to taste

Season the brisket on all sides, then sauté the brisket in vegetable oil for 4-5 minutes on each side before transferring it to a slow cooker. Sauté the onions in the brisket fat and remaining oil till they’re lightly browned, then transfer them to the slow cooker as well, with any remaining juices. Mix the garlic, sugar, Tabasco, vinegar, ketchup, water, and salt in a small bowl till it’s consistent, then add it to the pot. We slow cook the brisket for 6-8 hours on “medium,” then remove it, slice it against the grain, and return it to the pot to continue cooking on low until dinner.

Crosby Roamann 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 6-bottle Wood Case (Shipping Included)

The faint edge of spring hits the air like a question mark and the head and the heart run in opposite directions. It’s a wonderful time to be drinking fiery and spicy reds: country reds like Tempranillo and briefly aged Priorat, Pommards and very old Bordeaux. One of our own wines we keep coming back to this month is the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, which is still so robust and chalky and concentrated that it is just now peaking — all the flavors of vanilla, white pepper, beef blood, and graphite melting into one.

The wine was made from grapes grown at White Rock Vineyards in the steep foothills of the Vaca Mountains. The vineyard is named for a stratum of fist-sized white stones very near the surface of the earth which lends the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grown here a chalky texture and heady perfume. In warmer years like 2007, the Petit Verdot develops a strikingly French perfume which always reminds me of the best Grenache-based wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, reminiscent of jasmine and May rose, lavender and citrus.

Crosby Roamann has been a tribute to the women in the McBride family since its beginning. And the wines that we enjoy this time of year are not so very different from the women for whom we named the winery: creative, artistic, brilliant in their own ways, fiery, diplomatic, mercurial, ever changing, ever growing, silent at times, often times rambunctious, wonderful, and beautiful. Sometimes I think wines are like their winemakers, mirrors of their soul. Sometimes I think wines are like children, for whom we want everything, but who surprise us when they outshine us. This is one of those wines.

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 6-bottle Wood Case (Shipping Included)

We support the Alzheimer’s Association in memory of Peachy Crosby!

$5 from every bottle of 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon sold now through September 10, 2016 is donated to the 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Napa Valley, CA Saturday, September 10, 2016.  Support our team or make a donation in support of your own loved one. Walk with us: We’d love to have you JOIN THE CROSBY ROAMANN TEAM!

FAQ: Who’s the lady on the bottle? Anne McBride.


Pinot Noir Release

Crosby Roamance Valentine’s Day Special 2016

In 2013 we were approached by a friend who manages vineyards. On offer were five short rows of Dijon-clone Pinot Noir vines grown in exceptionally cool conditions at the very southernmost edge of Napa Valley, in the community of American Canyon. On some nights, from here on the water’s edge, you can see the lights of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco twinkling in the distance.

The vineyards in American Canyon ascend the gently rising Vaca foothills east of Highway 29. In some ways, this place is unglorified and unglamorous, but that’s one of the things we love about it … how in so many ways this stretch of gently rising vineyard land running along the coast of San Pablo Bay is so very un-Napa.

The fruit displayed very ripe raspberry and cherry cola flavors; although delightful, it needed balance. So we decided to look for another small lot of Pinot that could provide a counterpoint. We found it at a small, family owned vineyard in Carneros known colloquially as the Pig Farm, where a small selection of 38 year old heritage-selection Pinot Noir vines grow. It tasted woodsy and feral, with spice, dried herbs and musque.

We harvested both vineyards the same day. The friend who introduced us to the American Canyon vineyard picked that fruit with his crew; we harvested the Pig Farm fruit with Eric Arvai, Nathanial “Bananas” Foster, and Ben Kopman. Eric, Bananas, Ben, and Sean took turns rotating the old hand crank to destem the fruit, which took four hours. (Bananas claims he was stung in the eye by a bee in the process. It was our first — and to this day, only — harvest injury.) We spent the rest of the night drinking 2009 Dark Garden Cabernet Sauvignon, and eating pizza, and telling jokes, like the first night we all bottled our first wine, in Yountville, not so many years ago.

Both lots of Pinot Noir fermented on indigenous yeasts, and we pressed in small batches over two days, again by hand, after seventeen days on the skins. We racked the young wine to three once-used barrels and one new half-barrel, all French. The wine completed malolactic fermentation in barrel slowly, and remained on its lees for another twelve months. We racked and blended the wine to tank after twenty months in barrel and bottled with neither fining nor filtration.

The 2013 Pinot Noir Napa Valley is plush and soft and warm and fruity. The American Canyon fruit lends it tart raspberry and confectioner sugar qualities; the Carneros fruit lends it a woodsy and earthy substance. While young, it drinks beautifully now and will age wonderfully for 5-8 years.

For a limited time we are offering a Valentine’s Day Special including two bottles of Pinot Noir and a two-truffle box from Kollar Chocolates. Limited to one special per person.

Members of the inner circle can add the Valentine’s Day Special by logging into their accounts or contacting

A Wonderful New Year

A light mist is falling from a grey sky. The buildings are empty and quiet here at Enterprise Court except for us in the barrel room at Crosby Roamann. It has been a wonderful month thanks to everyone who has come out to visit us during this quiet season in Napa.

In the past week, we have racked half the wines and cleaned and topped all the rest of the barrels and cleaned out the back of the winery. The girls have been a tremendous help hard at work (Scarlett and Audrey, above). We are racking and blending our 2015 Rosé de Saignée and Merlot wines today, and we’ll be open again tomorrow morning. If you haven’t been out to visit us please consider planning a trip soon. You can make an appointment here.

We now offer growlers of our wines in the tasting room. A $10 half-gallon growler contains about two-and-a-half bottles of wine, and is available in white, rose, and red. There is a $5 deposit for the growler, which is refillable when you visit. Members in California can also add growlers to their membership, but you’ll have to bring or ship the growlers back to us.

The price of a new membership will be increasing in 2016, so it’s a great time to sign up and save on shipping for the New Year. Members who joined during or prior to 2015 will continue to receive shipping included on their purchases. You can join the inner circle here.

Again, thank you to everyone who has made this such an incredible year! We look to forward to welcoming you at the winery soon.

Best wishes for a wonderful New Year.


Under 2C

There is something amazing happening in Paris: Starting today and lasting through December 11, France will be welcoming heads of state from around the world for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change “Under 2C” refers to the goal of limiting warming to below 2°c, which Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists say is needed to avoid dangerous climate change ( We are very excited that this time, it may just be possible that world leaders will take meaningful and actionable steps towards a better future. Climate change effects not only us in the agricultural sector, but all of us around the world. To that end, we’d like to offer our own, special “Cyber Monday/Giving Tuesday” deal as we head into the season of giving back.

Starting now, and lasting through noon PST December 1, 2015, Crosby Roamann will donate all proceeds from wine sales to a select group of environmental charities. We hope to raise $3000 in this endeavor.* And as always, all Crosby Roamann wines will ship UPS Carbon Neutral.

Additionally, this season, please consider supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs.  One of our favorites, Start Small Think Big is an amazing non-profit centered around the idea of empowering entrepreneurs through a variety of financial and legal pro-bono services to help amazing business owners grow.  You can donate here and all profits are matched dollar for dollar on Tuesday December

Here’s to a better future,

Juliana & Sean

* Just so we don’t lose our shirts, we have to cap our maximum contribution at $3000. Want to donate more? Go here or

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have an ongoing debate whether Thanksgiving meal should be labeled “linner” or “dunch” with our children predictably taking opposite sides. The criteria on which we might form the basis of an opinion are unclear. We have a similar debate within our extended family over what sort of turkey should be served and what size, what sort of potato to serve, which sides, when to eat, what to prepare for dessert. Who will cook what? There are strongly held opinions, one might even say entrenched, over otherwise trivial aspects of our linner/dunch, and bizarre, decades old alliances.

Perhaps it’s the debate that matters.

Outside, the late-summer gold of earth extends into the early-winter blue of sky and the vines are almost barren. Their once soft green shoots lignified and brittle: what once bent, now breaks. The soil is moist and the almost-electric-green fuzz of fresh grass covers the hills and fields. From inside come the scattered shouts and murmurs of children. The occasional whistle blows from the television.

This month and next Members receive 2012 Crosby’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine displays a depth and complexity of flavors, with absorbing notes of woodsmoke, boysenberry, vanilla, and milk chocolate. Just 104 cases produced. Members may also now choose to receive their wines twice a year, in Spring and Fall, or may continue to receive them on release. We’ve also added a 3-bottle membership option, which seems in retrospect so obvious were astounded we didn’t think of it earlier. Join the inner circle here:

Find the wines here:

Wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving with love, peace, and friendship.

Juliana and Sean

Happy Halloween!

The magic point where every idea and its opposite are equally true. [1]

This time of year the rains arrive unexpected but wholly welcome, like friends. At first, you’re reminded of your last chance encounter, and say things like, “It’s so nice,” and “Well, well, well,” and there is a little dancing in the rain when no one is watching. Later, the shadows grow and the evenings settle dark and chilly. In the mornings a blanket of cool mist hangs in the air. You can feel the weight of your life, the moment of your existence, which is to say your truth.

Many of our friends and guests passing through the tasting room have been asking what the vintage was like. In some ways the nascent wines typify the aggressive growing season: an extremely short winter followed by an extreme drought through spring. They are ripe, without question, and the tannins will need time in barrel to soften, and perhaps some coaxing, but we are excited about them—especially since it is the first time we’ve produced all of our wines under our own roof.

We could not go on without another word about the drought, which shifted the harvest forward, and the fires in Napa, Sonoma and Lake Counties, which brought so much loss to so many. Thankfully (for once) neither affected us. To stay ahead of sugars many people were picking their white grapes at the end of July, and some completed all their harvests by the end of August. As in many years, we waited. This waiting hasn’t become an easy thing to do where once it was. The vin d’avant garde (s’il vous plais) of California winemaking is to pick early. You find this repeated in the world of wine today from Jon Bonné’s The New California Wine to Bruce Schoenfeld’s New York Times piece The Wrath of Grapes[2] But we did what we have always done — not the easiest thing — we waited, because we felt it was especially important this year to allow the seeds and stems of the grape clusters to lignify, which will produce softer, more concentrated wines, with fully ripe mid-palate structure.  We believe you will be impressed with the results.

As the wines have finished fermenting and have been pressed and readied for aging there is a feeling of what Martin Heidegger would have called Gelassenheit – a feeling of releasement, or “calm composure.” [3] These wines are like our children. We have done everything we can for them. Their paths in life, and ours, etched lightly in the future, like students who have recently accepted admissions to college, “the world stretched out before us not as a slate of possibility, but as a maze of well-worn grooves like the ridges burrowed by insects in hardwood.” [4]

By contrast, 2012 was a classically beautiful growing season. It was lazy and beautiful and calm and sort of quiet and harvest extended later and later. That year we were making Cabernet Sauvignon from two different vineyards just across the street from each other: one in Rutherford on the north side of Skellenger Lane and one in Oakville, on the south side. When a rainstorm appeared on the horizon and everyone scrambled to get all the fruit in as quickly as possible, we picked 13 tons of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon within a week.

The Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, our featured wine for November, comes from young vines grown in a deep composite gray clay soil with tiny, bright blue berries. We harvested by hand on the afternoon of October 22, and manually sorted and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel for twenty-eight days. One barrel of Merlot from the Oak Knoll District was blended in (10%), and the wine spent thirty months in French and American oak barrels, 60% new. We produced ten barrels of this wine – two were chosen for Crosby’s Reserve and we bottled 207 cases from the rest. The wine is layered and refined. We love the balance of fruit and tannin in this wine, which displays notes of blueberries, mild dried herbs, vanilla and confectioner’s sugar.

Happy Halloween!

Juliana & Sean

UPCOMING EVENTS: Crusher Wine District Wine Hopper Weekend: November 7-8. Tickets available.

[1] Tart, Donna. The Goldfinch. Back Bay Books, New York, 2013 p. 767.
[3] Heidegger, Martin. Country Path Conversations. Trans. By Bret W. Davis. Indiana Univ. Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 2010 p. xi.
[4] Klein, Naomi. No Logo. Picador, New York, 2010 p. 63.

Moonlight Merlot

Time, which ravages fortresses and great cities, only enriches poetry.
– Jorge Louis Borges, The Aleph and Other Stories, p. 76.

Midnight, September 20, 2013: We are standing in Jaeger Vineyard on Big Ranch Road. There is a full moon in the sky, with a glorious halo, which I cannot capture on my phone. It is shining so bright we almost can’t see the stars. Adding to the confusion is the portable light array hovering over our heads. In the dark, it looks sort of like a giant television antenna turned on its side with long fluorescent lights strung every meter or so. It passes over the rows of vines like a UFO as our crew is picking fruit.

I am snapping pictures in the darkness wearing a headlamp. I speak haltingly with the crew in broken Spanish that I have picked up by translating words on Google, always mindful of the quality of fruit that is picked for our wines. Just a year before this, at midnight of October 18, 2012, I stood in this same place with the crew harvesting Merlot.

September 27, 2015: I am reminded of this harvest two years ago as we enjoy the rising of the lunar eclipse. Sunday night found us sitting as a family on the roof of our garage watching the moon, very dark on the horizon, partly obscured by trees to our east. Later, as the night deepened, we lay on a blanket in the cool, damp grass stargazing, satellites crisscrossing the sky.

Our Merlot harvest is scheduled for tonight, and the circle of time completes another rotation, with its own unique variations. Our theme for the month is Moonlight Merlot. This will be our sixth vintage from this vineyard. The Merlot is more feral and whimsical than its cousin Cabernet Sauvignon, which is all smooth lines and fancy footwork. We love Merlot’s sweet blackberry musk, its playful acidity, like the juice from rare steak. Wonderfully ripe yet balanced. Buy it here.

It’s a great time to visit our new tasting room in Napa. We are offering a complimentary vertical tasting of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 vintages of Merlot through October. And while you’re here you can sample wines from barrel and inspect the final phase of our construction, at the conclusion of which we will be able to recapture and recycle 100% of our winery wastewater. If you’d like to schedule a visit, just reply to Juliana.

Wine tells a story. This is ours. Join us in Napa Valley. Become a Member.


Past, Present, and Future

We’ve moved! And there are no words to describe how thrilled we are to share with you the news of the opening of our winery. This process has been in the works since we first conceived of launching Crosby Roamann in the winter of 2006, and as many of you know, we’ve bounced around considerably since then. We’ve produced wines at five different wineries in the past nine years, often simultaneously, procuring grapes from seventeen different vineyards. But starting with the 2015 harvest our handmade wines will be produced entirely under our own roof at 45 Enterprise Court #6 in Napa, California – and we couldn’t be more excited!

Our tasting room is now open by appointment, and we are currently offering two tastings per day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with tasting times varying to accommodate guests’ schedules. We can accommodate groups of eight, and we have three flights to choose from:

+ The Cupiens Videre Lucem Series — featuring our current releases;
+ The Library Wines Tasting — featuring Crosby Roamann past vintages; and
+ The Serotonin Collection — a selection of Crosby Roamann wines paired with wines from around the world that inspire and intrigue.

Library wines and limited production new releases are only available for purchase in the tasting room, including our few remaining bottles of 2009 Dark Garden Cabernet Sauvignon and our upcoming 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Georges III Vineyard in Rutherford, Napa Valley. Wines are also available by the glass. All tastings are accompanied by small plates.

Upcoming Events & Open House

We are hosting an Open House at the winery the first Friday of Bottle Rock weekend, May 29th from 12-5pm.  Stop in on your way to the concert. We’ll have the grill going, wine and champagne will be chilled and flowing.  Mark your calendars and pop in!

Later that very same weekend we’ll be at the annual Mill Valley Gourmet Wine & Food Festival, our 3rd year running.

Crosby Roamann Private Dining: And on Thursday evening June 4th we’ll be hosting an intimate evening at GARIBALDIS San Francisco for a special wine dinner, limited to 12 people.  Secure your spot here!

Happy Spring, let’s celebrate!

Juliana & Sean

Page 2 of 41234