Brian Fitzpatrick

About The Author

No one event, nor bundle of influences, in my life can even begin to lay claim to the spark lighting the fuse that rapidly burned through the socially accepted norms of the day – the 1960s.  My explosive awakening came early. By 16 I was gathering the pieces of understanding the importance of what I ate, how and where it was grown, even dipping into the Biodynamic connections of nature and the cosmos.

I manifested my new-found knowledge in my everyday lifestyle. My focus and commitment continued. Only broad strokes could begin to paint this DaVinci inspired picture of the inter-connectiveness. Newly conceived Stockton State College invited self-inspired degree paths – I named mine an Environmental Naturopath. The new campus still under construction, we took over the condemned historic Mayflower Hotel on the boardwalk in Atlantic City to start that Freshman year.

Brian Fitzpatrick

About The Book

Brian Fitzpatrick's book is a captivating true story of an Earth-Friendly Pioneer, whose journey began in the backdrop of the Hippie counterculture of the 60s and 70s. Embracing the Back to the Land movement, Brian's quest led him to California's historic Fair Play in the Sierra Foothills, where he established the area's first winery. Spanning four decades, his story intertwines the grit and glory of pioneering in a challenging field. The book delves into the creation of a unique 'Ground-to-Glass' wine country experience, overcoming the snobbery and sophistication of the wine industry. Brian and Diana's journey of establishing a winery, vineyards, and a bed & breakfast against all odds is a tale of inspiration, passion, and heartfelt commitment, offering a rare glimpse into a dreamy yet demanding lifestyle.
Brian Fitzpatrick

Confessions Of A Winemaker

Brian Fitzpatrick's book, ‘Confessions Of A Winemaker’, narrates his journey as an Earth-Friendly Pioneer, detailing his groundbreaking work in organic winemaking within California's Sierra Foothills. It's a story of overcoming challenges, pioneering the 'Ground-to-Glass' wine experience, and leaving a unique mark in the wine industry over four decades.
Brian Fitzpatrick

Book Trailer

Brian Fitzpatrick

Confessions Of A Winemaker

Brian Fitzpatrick's book, ‘Confessions Of A Winemaker’, narrates his journey as an Earth-Friendly Pioneer, detailing his groundbreaking work in organic winemaking within California's Sierra Foothills. It's a story of overcoming challenges, pioneering the 'Ground-to-Glass' wine experience, and leaving a unique mark in the wine industry over four decades.
Brian Fitzpatrick

A Bit of What’s Inside

With life in Santa Barbara over 400 miles in our rearview mirror, the four of us bravely embraced our forested new world in the upper reaches of the Sierra Foothills. Imagine no electricity, no water, no roof to sleep under, nada. We had our goats, chickens and bees to focus on providing for their needs first. Endless tasks of subsistence surrounded us. Surprisingly we did not feel overwhelmed. Our dreams became our everyday now and we loved it. Our personal creature comforts aside, we tackled higher priorities first – Mother Earth News and the Whole Earth Catalog would be proud. I tell our story both in words and precious photos.
Discover Brian’s deep connection with the environment and how it guided his professional choices. “Larry and I shared a strong bond together in the works of Rudolph Steiner – Anthroposophy and its offspring Biodynamics. My study of Biodynamics had begun years before in my home state of New Jersey and was brought forward to Santa Barbara. Biodynamics broadens one’s understanding of plants and the interconnectedness of nature’s influences. Its study melds complexity and simplicity and requires some dabbling into the esoteric. Our shared motivation to partner in this migration to Fair Play was anchored in the hopes we could develop a manifestation of a Biodynamic agricultural life.”
Witness the birth of a wine-making legacy in the heart of California’s Gold Rush region. “The quest to find the perfect crop to grow in our sandy soils of Fair Play – a crop that was thrifty both in its water use and nutrient demand, a plant that could thrive in our short growing season at 2,000 to 3,000-foot elevation, a plant that could take hold on a variety of slopes and aspects – may have found the best candidate yet, and it’s legal: the wine grape. In my field studies and data collection of water use for different crops grown in the parts of El Dorado County served by EID (El Dorado Irrigation District, which provides enough water to grow anything), I observed that the wine grape uses one-third the amount of water compared to that of an apple or pear, or other fruit trees. It uses one-fifth the water that irrigated pasture requires, less than just about any local crop, except for Christmas trees.”
Learn about the challenges and triumphs of maintaining an organic and biodynamic vineyard. Once in the barrels, time began to wander. The wine quiets into a stillness but not death. The aging process carries on…” Brian walks you through a wine’s life blending the romance with the sweat. Your new understanding of winemaking, wine marketing and the small winery will forever enhance your appreciation and enjoyment of wine. Brian’s goal – “Producing this most civilized beverage in the most responsible way”.

Hand-crafted wines from grapes to glass, Brian shares both the romance and the reality of a wine’s life gathered over 33 vintages. And when a wine is ready to meet its market, you, me and wine lovers the world over, look for clues to help decide which wine will we buy.  Brian maps out the many considerations each winery wrestles with to present and sell their liquid gold. Enlightened now with these wine industry confessions, you’ll forever be empowered to wade through the ocean of wine choices with a new clarity. The Holy Grail of wine shopping is finding great value, that intersection of a wine’s quality, its price and its true story.

The concepts of biodynamic/organic farming were studied and embraced in Brian’s manifestations of creating a living commercial organic lifestyle a sustainable reality for over four decades somewhat alone in the upper reaches of the Sierra Foothills. A natural leader Brian reached out to participate in the collective organic movement of the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) for over 25 years. That powerful story, complete with its own confessions, ended in an ironic return to where it all began (Brian’s unfettered commitment) to which this Earth Friendly Pioneer gave endless volunteer hours.

What happens next, the Exit Strategy is an eyes wide open approach to a major life change.

Brian Fitzpatrick

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Brian Fitzpatrick

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