Brooklyn West Philosophy

"No vineyards no limits"

Brooklyn West is an urban winery in Oakland’s Jack London Square.

We are surrounded by concrete, brick and the grit of a real city. The Oakland Estuary is just outside our front door. There are no vineyards here. We believe that’s a good thing. Why?

“No Vineyards = No Limits.”

…No limits to our ability to make seriously good wines from a variety of grapes grown in their optimal terroir throughout California, allowing you to discover amazing wines from all over the state, rather than just being limited to the Cabernet or Chardonnay growing in the backyard of Chateau-du-Faux.

…No limits to the quality of our wine at Brooklyn West.   Our wines are carefully tended and hand-crafted by our award-winning winemaking team.   Our wines are artisanal, small batches that are uniquely expressive of place and individual style.

…No limits to creating a unique and comfortable space to lounge and enjoy wine. Unlike the tasting rooms in wine country, at Brooklyn West, you won’t need to blow your whole paycheck on tasting fees or feel that you need to pretend you have a Masters of Wine to have a great time with us. We want you to experience a seriously unpretentious place to hang out and savor wine, to indulge your senses, and to give learning and experiencing more about wine and the winemaking process a swirl.

Why Brooklyn West?

We are often asked why the winery is named Brooklyn West. The short answer is fuhgeddaboutit (just kidding). Actually, the short answer is that our family roots go back to Brooklyn. Our winemaker, Stewart Epstein and his wife Michelle have a life story centered on migration from Brooklyn to the West. 3 of their 4 parents were born in Brooklyn and Michelle was born and lived there for over 30 years. Due to a triumph of online dating between Stew and Michelle (thank you, Jdate)! they found their Brooklyn destinies intertwined out West in California. (Our Assistant Winemaker, Jeff Fiegel is from Wichita, Kansas, but we forgive him for that – someone has to represent the rest of the country!)

The longer answer about our winery’s name is that Brooklyn West ties into both the history and the current zeitgeist of Oakland. Many folks don’t know that Oakland WAS the Brooklyn of the West.  Brooklyn, California was formed in 1856. Brooklyn commemorates the name of the ship that had brought over 200 Mormon settlers from New York to California.  Oakland annexed Brooklyn in 1872 and the area is now known as East Oakland.

It has been definitely been said, written about, and pondered on more than once that Oakland IS the Brooklyn of the West. Just as New Yorkers now make their way to Brooklyn for innovative experiences in culture, food, and art, San Franciscans and Bay Area residents and visitors increasingly head to Oakland to do the same.  We are extremely proud to be part of the creative vitality and cultural diversity that makes Oakland so special.

About Our Winemakers

Jeffrey Fiegel (left) and Stew Epstein (right) met, not entirely unpredictably if you know them, at a wine bar while Stew was behind the bar pouring a bottle of a Tempranillo he had made. He was pleasantly surprised when a couple of the customers at the bar seemed unusually knowledgeable about wine and winemaking and spent the rest of the evening discussing winemaking philosophy (Stew is a bit of wine geek). Stew promptly forgot the encounter until about two weeks later when he got an email from Jeffrey asking to pick his brain on Spanish wines over a cup of coffee. Stew replied “sure, why not?”

It turned out that Jeffrey was studying winemaking at Fresno State and shared our winemaker’s passion for Spanish and Iberian wines and by the end of the 1st latte, Stew brought him aboard as a winery intern. They worked closely together for the next several years and together dreamed of having their own winery in an urban setting.

In 2013 they took leave of their senses and started Brooklyn West Winery and embarked on a mission to share their enthusiasm for wine and bring to the people of Oakland and the Bay Area world-class handcrafted wines in a fun, approachable and unpretentious atmosphere.

We hope you enjoy the wines as much as we do making them for you!