:: Estrada Creek & Waterstone | Murphy Goode | Justin | Bogle | Amusant ::


It was apparent Philip Zorn would some day become a winemaker when, as a child, he tried to ferment plums from his lunchbox. Raised is Germany, Phil eventually attended the classic German Wine School Technische Hochschule fuer Weinbau und Kellerwirtschaft and apprenticed at Weingut Pieroth und Sohn. After emigrating to America in 1984, he become winemaker for Sunny St. Helena, followed by Gauer Estate, Paraiso Springs and Tria, gaining valuable experience with Napa, Sonoma and Monterey grapes.

As a research biochemist in his colleage years, Brent Shirtridge planned to go on to medical school. But a summer job at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma, working with legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff, would prove to be the undoing of his medical career. Brent stayed at Buena Vista, learning about the wine business, and was eventually named vice president of marketing. It's been a love affair with wine ever since.

Brent subsequently met Phil through a mutual acquaintance. Both had yearned to develop wines that met their mutual philosophical approach. With Phil's strong background in winemaking, and Brent's marketing skills, it seemed like a perfect match.

They turned to Napa Valley, where established relationships with growers and vintners gave Phil and Brent access to some of the valley's finest vineyards. Creating a long-term future with growers from Carneros to Calistoga was key to their objectives - making high quality wines at affordable prices. "The pleasure derived from the wine should not be compromised by the price paid for it," says Brent. "From the beginning we set out to make wines we want to drink and can afford to drink."

The two had sourced their grapes and began creating the wines and designing the labels, but still needed a name for this new effort. Then one day, relaxing in a garden with the soft flow of running water in the background, "Waterstone" bubbled to the surface. With their new brand secured, Phil and Brent immediately turned to their other passion : lunch.