Tracey Brandt

Tracey Brandt

Donkey and Goat (Winemaker, Proprietor, and General Manager)

Tracey Brandt was raised in Texas and North Carolina, and she came west at age 27. She met her husband and winery co-owner, Jared, while both of them were working for IGN, a gaming company.

In late 2001, as the technology bubble was bursting in Silicon Valley and the Brandts’ “day jobs” were looking less secure, they decided to follow their dream of learning how to make wine. Instead of going to the University of California, Davis to learn the science of winemaking, they went to France to train under Éric Texier, an up-and-coming Rhône winemaker who taught them the art and craft of making wines that speak to the soul about the earth from which they originate.

From their cramped 2,800-square-foot warehouse space in Berkeley, California, the Brandts stick to a mantra of “add nothing, do nothing, besides the bare minimum” to ensure that their 3,000 cases of organic wine are sound. Among other varietals and blends, they produce Syrah and Chardonnay.

The Brandts, who are the winery’s “donkey and goat,” share their lives with their two children.