Close Mobile Menu

Current Shipment

With each shipment, The Graduate Wine Collective introduces members to alumni-made wines that are as unique as the Cal experience.

FEATURED WINES

The Graduate Wine Collective wines by UC Berkeley alumni logo


Invite a Friend

We hope you enjoy sharing these wines with your friends and family! Help the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) introduce alumni-connected wineries to fellow UC Berkeley alumni, friends, family, and wine aficionados. Spread the word about The Graduate Wine Collective and direct your friends to thegraduatewinecollective.com for more information.

Every Sip Supports Your Cal Alumni Community

Your Graduate Wine Collective membership supports the work of the Cal Alumni Association (CAA). CAA provides Cal graduates with rewarding connections to the university, fellow alumni, and current students. With a mission of advancing and promoting the interests of the university, CAA is committed to providing essential programs and services designed to keep alumni of all ages and interests connected to the university and to each other. Thank you for your support! 

Upcoming Events

We are planning a blind wine-tasting event in the fall to select wine for our 2023 shipment. Stay tuned!

Featured Wines

This fall wine shipment offers something for every palate, from a light-body pinot noir to a medium-body chardonnay, a shape-shifting blend of cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel to a juicy zinfandel that will leave you wanting more. Enjoy—and Go Bears!

 


 

June Mountain Vineyard

Michael Bloch MBA ’90
Santa Rosa, CA

June Ressler and Michael Bloch
June Ressler and Michael Bloch MBA ’90 / Courtesy of Michael Bloch

A 1990 Haas School MBA, Michael Bloch had a 30-year career in the information technology field, ultimately becoming CIO for his wife June Ressler’s global consulting firm. Looking ahead to retirement, in 2013 June and Michael purchased 100 hillside acres in the Fountaingrove District AVA of Sonoma County. They planted 22 acres with multiple grape varieties to sell to other wineries, reserving one acre for themselves. Upon tasting the wines made from those grapes, what started as a hobby became a business, and the June Mountain Vineyard brand was established. The first vintages were field blends of the five red bordeaux varieties plus zinfandel and syrah, but as yields grew, they concentrated on single-vineyard cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel varietal releases.

2019 Amourex Zinfandel wine bottle

2019 Amoureux Zinfandel

Tasting Notes
A beautiful wine, with aromas of plums, cherries and pepper. This structured zinfandel lingers on the palate, yet a smooth peppery finish is what makes this wine a classic. The mouthfeel is juicy, and leaves us wanting another sip. This wine is delicious now but will age for another 5 years. 

 


 

Brown Estate Vineyard

Deneen Brown ’90, Coral Brown ’89, Stefanie Kelly ’97
Napa Valley, CA

Celia Deneen Brown '90, Coral Brown '89, and David Brown, inside their wine cave
L–R: Deneen Brown ’90, Coral Brown ’89, and David Brown, inside their wine cave. / Craig Lee / San Francisco Chronicle / Polaris

Brown Estate is the first Black-owned estate winery in the Napa Valley. Located in the hills east of Rutherford, the remote property was purchased in 1980 by Bassett & Marcela Brown. Between 1981–1990 they restored the long-abandoned homestead and planted vineyards that gave rise in the mid-90s to an eponymous wine label founded by next-gen siblings Deneen, Coral, and David Brown, whose first offering was 700 cases of 1996 Brown Estate Zinfandel. The Brown lineup has expanded over time to include cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, petite sirah, and a popular red blend known as Chaos Theory, along with a suite of single vineyard zinfandels and numerous small lot specialty wines. You can follow @brownestate on Instagram and/or visit their Brown Downtown Napa tasting room by appointment.

Chaos Theory Red Blend Wine Bottle

2021 Chaos Theory Red Blend

Tasting Notes
Chaos Theory began as a one-off and, back then, irreverent blend of cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel that David created for our first participation in the annual Premiere Napa Valley trade auction some 15 years ago. After it made a splash, he went back to the cellar to incorporate details so we could make it a permanent part of our lineup. Over the years, though, Chaos Theory has become a shape-shifter, each vintage its own unique blend reflecting the nature of our journey in the world of wine—a constant adventure that reminds us year in and year out that no matter how random or chaotic conditions may seem, amidst the mayhem there is reason, if not always rhyme… and from each season, great wine. This is vintage no. 17.

 


 

Calling Card

Rachel Stern EMBA ’22
Sonoma Valley, CA

Rachel Stern
Rachel Stern EMBA ’22 / Courtesy of Rachel Stern

Rachel Stern is a Haas EMBA ’22 graduate and resident of Napa, California. In her day job, she runs InState Partners, a venture capital firm focused on technologies selling to, or regulated by, state and local governments. By night (and weekends) she moonlights as a co-proprietor of Inner Circle Wines, which she created in 2018 with her partner Andrew Walleck. They are now on their third vintage of cabernets and chardonnays, and excited to grow their viticultural presence nationally and internationally. Two large doodles also feature prominently in Rachel’s life.

2019 Sonoma Coast wine bottle

2019 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Tasting Notes
Medium-to-pale lemon in color with touches of green on the rim. Pronounced aromas of fresh yellow apple, fresh Hawaiian banana, brûléed vanilla cream, ripe Coloradan peach, toasted ripe pineapple, fresh ripe apricot, and key lime pie. Remarkably fresh acidity and medium+ body. A pronounced flavor intensity with a long finish.

 


 

Desforges Vineyards

Peter Desforges ’83
Russian River Valley, CA

Peter Fesforges
Peter Desforges ’83 / Courtesy of Peter Desforges

I was born in the United States shortly after my  parents and sibling moved here from Paris. As was the tradition in France, I grew up having water with a splash of red wine with dinner from an early age. Soon after graduating from Cal, I was reintroduced to wine by a sommelier friend and soon developed a passion for expanding my wine knowledge and developing my palate. That passion eventually led my wife and me to buying a small plot of land in Sonoma in 2015 and planting vineyards with pinot noir and chardonnay. My goal was to make a Burgundian style pinot from the Russian River Valley—light-bodied with complex flavors and a mouth pleasing finish. We hope you will enjoy it!

Deforges 2019 Pinot Noir wine bottle

2019 Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes
Desforges Vineyards is a small family estate nestled in a peaceful valley near the historical town of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. The vineyards were planted with a combination of two pinot noir clones, pomard (deep dark fruit notes) and martini (bright red fruit notes), giving the wine a balanced and complex character typical of the Russian River Valley. The grapes were hand-picked and sorted, vinified with a light hand, then aged for 20 months in French oak. The result is a Burgundian-style pinot noir reflecting the French heritage of the Desforges family. We hope you enjoy our wine! Santé!

 


 

Contact: thegraduatewineclub@alumni.berkeley.edu

Manage your membership: thegraduatewinecollective.com

 

A program of the Cal Alumni Association.
The Graduate Wine Collective is sold and distributed by VinoShipper.

vino shipper logo

 

Ready to Discover Wines as Unique as Your Own Cal Experience?

Join our wine club and receive three wine shipments per year, featuring wines hand-selected by UC Berkeley wine experts and aficionados.

Join Now
a man tasting wine

UC Berkeley’s Alumni-Owned Wineries

UC Berkeley alumni are making their mark on the winemaking business in Napa Valley, Sonoma, and beyond. Here’s a list of wineries and vineyards founded, operated, owned, or managed by UC Berkeley alumni.

Explore Alumni Wineries
Graduate Wine Collective banner with two women holding wine bottles and cups

Upcoming Alumni Events

There are currently no upcoming events. Check back as new events will be scheduled soon.

Cal Alumni in the Wine Industry