J. Brix winemaker Jody in vineyard

Jody Brix Towe, Co-Winemaker/Barrel-Lifter

After tasting a bottle of Pinot noir grown and made in the Santa Maria Valley, San Diegans Jody and wife Emily got their winemaking start as volunteer harvest interns there, and found they simply couldn't get enough of the dirty work. One dream led to another; J. Brix Wines is the unexpectedly felicitous result.

Jody's college and career background in horticulture translates to time and study in the vineyards; there's nowhere he'd rather be. A keen understanding of plant physiology provides insight into the way each individual growing season affects the vines, the fruit, and the wine. A keen intuition built on many years working with plants helps guide winemaking decisions, which vary from harvest to harvest based on the sum of the season.

He drives a lot.

J. Brix winemaker Emily in barrel room

Emily Towe, Co-Winemaker/Content + Design

Emily is fascinated by stories. Along the way, she's found herself caught up in one of her own. Every winemaking year provides a new and unscripted tale to tell, and as a writer and designer, she finds great joy in the translation: written, graphic and vinous.

She and Jody have come to view their lives in two phases: the one before they spoke those three little words ("Let's make wine"), and the one that has followed. Subsequent adventures have been more thrilling, and fulfilling, than anything she ever could have imagined.

Electric mayhem? Absolutely. Heartbreak? Occasionally.

In the fleeting moments, though, it's all nothing short of magical.

Winemakers' 2 kids in picking bins

Talia Towe & Elijah Towe, Cellar Rats

Talia spent a year learning about vineyards and winemaking for her 8th grade project, culminating in the successful creation and bottling of her own "tt" Grenache vin gris. She also poured (water) at a Catalina Island Outstanding In The Field/J. Brix event (forever immortalized as the CATALINA WINE MIXER).

Elijah is better at cleaning the press than cleaning his room, especially when payment and/or a burrito is involved. Our first foray into white wine came about when, in early 2010, he tasted a drip and informed his parents that we had to make Riesling, because he liked it better than ice cream. (The rest is history.)

Winery dog Iris in vineyard

Iris, Winery Dog

Lady Iris Papyrus joined the family just in time for harvest 2016, adopted by us via the folks at Second Chance Dog Rescue. She is a glorious giant beautiful ginger-freckled girl with a suspected St. Bernard/Retriever heritage; and a gentle heart full of love and Only Love. Her favorite things are: tummy rubs; vineyard visits; sleeping in; and eggs over easy.

We couldn't adore her more.