As Saintsbury’s winemaker for over 15 years, Byron learned the vineyards of Carneros like the back of his hand, but he always retained a special fondness for the vines the vineyard hands planted right next to Saintsbury’s farm equipment shop not far from the Carneros highway. “The Shop,” made from those same vines planted around 2002, is Byron’s homage to the real work behind winegrowing: the everyday work of tying, pruning, spraying, and plowing the vineyard. We love this wine’s soft, seamless appeal on the palate, which is something of a Kosuge signature.
Byron Kosuge is the greatest master of Pinot Noir that you’ve never heard of. Born and raised in Davis, California, he was the college roommate of Master Sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji, and still makes his Miura Pinot Noirs today. Byron is soft-spoken and shuns the spotlight, as this English major puts in his own words: “I could never be a “rock star” winemaker. I’m much too ordinary for all that. I don’t have a fancy winery, I haven’t made wine in Burgundy, I don’t appear in the society pages. I do, however, spend a great deal of time and energy thinking about the vines I work with and the wines I make.”