Palate and passion are the two words that capture the winemaking duo of Michael Pozzan and Richard Bruno. For Michael, it is a palate honed to the tiniest nuances of flavor and balance, and a passion that has been part of his family history for over three generations. Highly respected in the world of wine, Michael has been a speaker at University of California, Davis and Golden Gate University in San Francisco and a judge of the prestigious New World Wine Competition as well at the Home Wine Makers of California Competition. Michael has made the study of wine his life, traveling and tasting, and dedicating himself to producing high-quality Napa and Sonoma Valley wines in the Italian style of his heritage: wines of rich fruit, excellent character and exceptional value.
Richard Bruno decided to put a semiprofessional soccer career on hold in order to pursue his own passionate interest in wine. After working with Master Sommelier Larry Stone of Rubicon, Richard entered UC Davis’ Viticulture and Enology program in 1994. Before graduating, Richard worked as the distiller for Bonny Doon Vineyard from 1996 until the summer of 1997, and then went back to UC Davis to graduate. That same summer, he launched his own wine brand, Vinum Cellars, and kept it as a side business while he worked full time for wineries such as Rosenblum Cellars, Alexander Valley Vineyards and Folie a Deux. He then transitioned into consulting under the guidance of wine veteran Tom Eddy, and worked with companies like Niebaum-Coppola, the Colorado Wine Industry, and finally Don Sebastiani & Sons, whom he joined in 2001 as Director of Winemaking. He co-developed several successful brands, including Smoking Loon, seeing the company grow to over 2 million cases annually. He was with Don Sebastiani & Sons for 8 years and left in July 2009 to join Michael Pozzan Winery.