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Our Story

The story of Brave & Maiden wines began in 2011, with our very first vintage. Although the vineyard was planted in the mid-1990s, its grapes had never been produced as a single vineyard wine. That changed when Rizal Risjad acquired the property in 2010 and, along with friend and business partner Jason Djang, developed a vision of producing the finest estate-grown wines they could from this singular estate. With that first 2011 vintage, these two families, the Risjads and Djangs, established Brave & Maiden Estate.

We take our name from a bit of local folklore about the nearby Nojoqui Falls. First recorded in the early 1900s, the “Legend of Nojoqui” is a tale recounting a pair of star-crossed lovers who choose sacrifice over separation when faced with an impossible decision. It’s a tragedy of forbidden love and unflinching commitment in the vein of Romeo & Juliet or Westside Story.

Inspired by such profound devotion, Brave & Maiden operates with a twofold and ambitious mission: to craft extraordinary wines and to share them with unforgettable hospitality at its estate and through like-minded partners in the market.

Following game-changing years of consultation with world-renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs, our wines are grown and produced under the direction of Winemaker Josh Klapper. In our portfolio of wines, you’ll find exquisite expressions of Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc.  We have also taken on a particular goal of producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Ynez. Our critically acclaimed Limited Cabernet Sauvignon—and our other small lot, black label wines—are available exclusively at our estate to Members and visiting guests.

If you would like to discover our wines, visit us in Santa Ynez and consider becoming a Member for the ultimate in personal service and access to limited production wines.

To follow our story and be notified of occasional opportunities for non-Members, introduce yourself and join our List here.

We hope you’ll visit us soon; we look forward to having you as our guest.