Winery Entrance

Urban legends are remarkable but often apocryphal stories that spread like wildfire. Urban Legend is a winery in a city—almost an apocryphal story in itself—that makes remarkable wines.

“This is disruptive wine innovation.”
Matthew Reagan PhD, Chemical Engineering & Wine Connoisseur

Matt got it right when he said that about Urban Legend. We’ve never been shy about disruption. Throughout our careers, we’ve introduced technologies that no one ever thought would work—and changed the world. When we wanted to drink wines that were perfect complements to our local food—diverse flavors, honest ingredients, a sophisticated yet approachable style—we said: “We’ll have to make them ourselves; we’ll make them where the food is created—in the city; and we’ll do it together!” It’s not a traditional strategy—just a very American one.

Today, we hand craft more than a dozen Urban Legend wines that each, uniquely, salutes the varied flavors of California and our home: Oakland, America’s most diverse city.

Critics and consumers alike are impressed with our fidelity to variety, our expression of place, our food-friendly style, and our absolute consistency of quality—from our very first release and forward.

For us, disruption is all about breaking down myths—urban legends, if you will—to make wines of uncompromising balance and elegance.

In specific:

    • Winemakers must focus on a single grape variety to make credible wines with it. We’ve found that while situations change, the rules don’t; a great grasp of method—adapting knowledge found to new conditions—allows us to craft a great wine with grapes from Albarino to Zin. We focus on flavor.

    • Wines must be made next to vines to be good—anywhere else is a gimmick. Being outside “wine country” liberates us to source grapes where a particular variety grows the best—not just what grows in our back yard. We can celebrate the best of California terroir. It also liberates us to do what we do best: find the best fruit, seek great but unusual varieties, and—more than anything—take meticulous care with winemaking to craft the finest in flavor.

  • Wines that represent a uniquely American style aren’t very interesting. There’s directness—a forthrightness, maybe even audacity—in America’s approach to innovation. In choosing to make wine in a city, embracing our skills from other vocations, and crafting wines that don’t derive entirely from the Old World or the New but from a foundation in flavor, we’re celebrating the best of America.

Ultimately, we believe that wine should be seriously enjoyable and made to complement good food, good times, and living well.

And, by the way, our logo is an urban legend, too.


Marilee and Steve