There is no actual "Crosby Roamann" person. The name of our winery is derived from two of Sean's grandparents -- Norma "Peachy" Crosby, and Sally Roamann. Sean liked the sound of their two names combined, so he named the winery for them. (Pictured: Peachy and Sally.)
Juliana and Sean are the owners, winemakers, sometimes delivery people, and general misfits behind the Crosby Roamann winery. Juliana is from a small town outside Chicago, IL. Sean is from the Big Apple. We love what we do and hope to be able to share that passion with you.
Our winery is located at 45 Enterprise Court #6, within the city limits of Napa, in an industrial area called The Crusher District. If you're driving to visit us and coming to Napa for the first time, it can be a bit disorienting when you're pulling into the winery, because we aren't located up-valley in the splendor and glory of Napa Valley proper -- maybe one day we will be -- but we do love this slice of heaven where we have crafted a truly chic industrial space that happens to be a ton of fun to come taste wine in.
Yes! We recently purchased a small vineyard on Cuttings Wharf Road that provides the fruit for our Estate Sauvignon Blanc. We are currently replanting our vineyard to a mix of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Check back with us in say ... four years, and we can tell you more about it!
We source grapes from eleven different family farms and vineyards scattered throughout the North Bay Area of California, from the Santa Cruz Mountains to Anderson Valley. Almost all of the grapes grown in Napa are produced and bottled under the Crosby Roamann brand label, whereas the single vineyard Pinot Noir wines from outside of Napa Valley are produced and bottled under Sean's eponymous label which you can find here: www.seanwmcbride.com
Crosby Roamann, the company, was launched in 2006 on a whim from our apartment in Brooklyn, NY. It was our dream, but it took a little while to turn our dream into a reality. Crosby Roamann's first wine was a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley that Sean produced at White Rock Vineyards. The 2007 Cabernet was released in 2010. So you could say that we started making wine sometime between 2007 and 2010, depending on which date matters most to you. In our own minds, the year to really focus on is 2010 -- it was in 2010 that we bottled our first wine, but it was also 2010 that we realized it was time to make the big push and sell our apartment in Brooklyn, drive out to California with our baby daughters and start our lives over again.
This is the most common question we get asked, and also the most difficult question to answer. The truth is, we don't know, but we certainly never started with plans to own a winery. The mostly-true and generally accepted answer is that we sought to find a way to live our lives in balance with our ideals, to forge a beautiful life for ourselves and our children, something that we could be proud of, and something that we felt contributed in some small way to make the world a better place. From that point of view, Crosby Roamann was the best idea we could come up.
Part 1: Very slowly.
Sean's formative training began in 2009 at White Rock Vineyards, where he made wine under the guidance and tutelage of Christopher Vandendriessche. Sean later worked at Michael Mondavi's FOLIO winery (the old Carneros Creek Winery, now owned by Kieu Huang), and PUNK DOG Wines (now the Eric Gordon Wine Studio). We learned something new from each of these experiences, and each brought us closer to our ultimate goal of building our own winery.
Part 2: Then all of a sudden.
In 2014, we purchased an abandoned warehouse unit in the Crusher District of Napa Valley. This particular unit had been built in 2007, but never completed. The rest of the warehouse complex (our neighors) was partially occupied by JuiceBox, a custom crush winery (now The Wine Foundry) and Paradise Pools. We finished the construction in 2014, and converted our unit to a winery and obtained our winery license in early 2015.
Our first vintage in our new space was 2015. This was a crash course in winemaking -- what we have since come to refer to as "the prayer and a bootstrap" method of building a winery. The fruit for our 2015 Chardonnay (to this day, the finest example of Chardonnay we have produced) arrived on the morning we were pouring the concrete for the crush pad. We produced an infinitesimal amount of 2015 wine, just two tons of Chardonnay, two tons of Merlot, and one ton of Cabernet, plus some Sauvignon Blanc for a friend. That winter of 2016 was quiet, rainy, and cold. We watched the wines age in our own space. We made desperate new plans and conceived grand designs. We couldn't have been happier.
Part 3. Trial by fire.
Since 2015 -- so much has changed, and we have learned so much, and made so many very different wines -- it is hard to say exactly how or when we learned to do anything anymore. Winemaking is a constant juggling act, and very much an industry of Hurry Up and Do Nothing. And the truth is -- we will always be learning, we will always be experimenting, and we will always want to get better and make better wines. I think we have come to learn there is no such thing as a "perfect" wine or a "100 point" wine. It's true what they say: Wine is a journey, not a destination.
No, we have two. Juliana also works and writes for our local newspaper. You can find her byline occasionally in The Sonoma Index Tribune. Sean runs a winery consulting company called Napa Valley Winery Management, where he helps other small business owners navigate the world of winery compliance and finance.
How much wine do you make?
Crosby Roamann currently produces around 2000 cases per year of nine different wines. 1000 cases are produced under the Crosby Roamann label, including an Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Crosby's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. 1000 cases of wine are produced under Sean's eponymous label which you can find here: www.seanwmcbride.com
Over the years we've had some friends and family help out occasionally with the winemaking, and one year we even hired a full-time employee, but generally -- No, we are a small, family operation and we intend to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
Yes! Our basic Membership is a 6-bottle wood box of Crosby's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, shipped annually in the Fall. Find the Membership here.
An interesting question, and one we get asked from time to time, is whether we have plans to expand. Our winery facility is currently maxed to the fullest, but no, we have no plans to expand.
Yes. Are you?
Header Photography: Emma K. Morris. Pictured from left to right: Audrey, Juliana, Scarlett, Sean, and our dog Kobe.