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Our Story

Every patch of earth has a story rooted deep in its soil – an evolving, unfolding story. The story of Brave & Maiden began in 2011, with our very first vintage. Although our 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 the “Legend of Nojoqui” (pronounced Naw-ho-wee), an indigenous incarnation of Romeo & Juliet. Set at the nearby Nojoqui Falls, the legend recounts the story of star-crossed lovers who choose sacrifice over separation. Inspired by such profound commitment, we’ve created a twofold and ambitious commitment of our own: to craft extraordinary wines and to share them with unforgettable hospitality.

Our wines are grown and produced under the direction of Consulting Winemaker Paul Hobbs and with the mastery of Winemaker Josh Klapper in the cellar. In our portfolio of wines, you’ll find exquisite 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 our Spring and Fall releases, introduce yourself and join our List here.

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