Robin Akhurst - A native of Scotland, Robin graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in environmental sciences. What started as a casual interest in wine soon became a passion and following graduation, he took a job as a sommelier in one of Edinburgh’s most forward thinking wine-focused restaurants. Fate then took him to London to work for one of the city’s leading independent wine merchants, gaining additional on-the-floor experience selecting, selling and sampling wines from all over the world.
What started as a casual interest in wine, he took a job and relocated to San Jose, CA. After spending time there, another relocation to Yountville in the heart of Napa Valley changed his perceptions on food and wine forever. He would volunteer time during harvest and assist winemakers, learning more about the process while providing excellent music playlists for sorting and punch downs.
Brian’s current position is Chief Operating Officer at NAMICS Technologies Inc. He has over 15 years of experience working in the semiconductor materials market. Responsible for forecasting global requirements for advanced materials market by driving growth of disruptive technologies through development and innovation based in the Americas for global market.
In his spare time, he enjoys blending, waxing, labeling, sorting, pump overs, and punch downs. Playing guitar and vinyl records, deep sea fishing, and golf.
"Wine is the only artwork you can drink."
Brian Schmaltz - A native of San Diego, California Brian graduated from San Diego State University with BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering with a specialization in Material Science, FEM, and MEMS processing. He then completed his Business Management Certificate in Global Commerce from University of California in San Diego.
Our Vision - In a wine industry marked by consolidation and rising prices, we've observed a trend that has left consumers feeling excluded from the realm of quality wine. Premium locations worldwide are increasingly sought after, with no sign of price stability in sight. Regrettably, we too experienced the impact of this industry shift.
Originally sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville during our initial three years, we found ourselves compelled to explore alternative locations in the valley. This strategic move was aimed at ensuring our customers wouldn't face the burden of exorbitant three-figure wine bottles. The locations we discovered in Yountville, St Helena, and Calistoga not only met our expectations but exceeded them, proving to be truly exceptional.
Nevertheless, our commitment to providing the best fruit remains unwavering, irrespective of style, and we strive to make it accessible to everyone. Operating with razor-thin margins, every ounce of profit is reinvested to guarantee that you receive the finest product from us. We have no overhead costs, and wholesale or restaurant accounts need not apply. This endeavor is our passion, made possible only through the direct support of each of you.
PHILOSOPHY - Each year, our philosophy takes the form of a limited edition collaboration with a different artist; a Volume, a one-off creation, destined to be categorized and never replicated. We firmly believe that every vintage is a unique expression of the craft. Hence, we decided to represent this individuality through distinctive label artwork for each vintage. We reach out to artists whose work we deeply admire, inviting them to contribute as our label artist, changing annually and featured on our limited-numbered production.
Once these bottles are gone, they are gone for good. Never to be reproduced, they stand as a piece of history waiting to be opened, encapsulating time in a bottle. We invite you to savor these unique creations for decades to come.
Cheers, Robin Akhurst and Brian Schmaltz
With a desire to get closer to the agricultural aspects of winegrowing, he moved to New Zealand and received a graduate degree in viticulture and enology from Lincoln University in Christchurch. He worked two harvests in Marlborough before continuing his international winemaking road trip, working at Burgundy’s famed Domaine Leflaive and in Australia’s Barossa Valley with Two Hands Winery.
A fortunate suggestion from Michael Twelftree of Two Hands led Robin to accept a harvest position in Napa valley with Thomas Rivers Brown in 2009, working with the team at Outpost Wines on Howell Mountain. Under Thomas’s guidance, he learned to create iconic wines including Schrader Cellars, Maybach and Rivers Marie. Following harvest, Robin took a position to direct the production team at Envy Wines, a winery and custom-crush project established by partners Nils Venge and Mark Carter. For four years, Robin crafted the Envy wines and worked alongside Mike Smith as assistant winemaker for the highly lauded Carter Cellars wines.
Although free time is something Robin's not too familiar with, when he gets a chance, he enjoys spending time with his wife Aneeta, playing guitar, cycling and soaking in all of the cultural offerings provided by Bay Area living.